March 25, 2011

Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Places to See - Suggested Itinerary

Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach, but for those who want a different adventure, and just simply not too comfy to wear a bikini or is afraid of tsunamis - it's time to pack your stuff and head to Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Sharing with you some places we have visited in Vigan. We stayed in Ilocos for 3 days and 3 nights. Our itinerary is Vigan - Pagudpud - Laoag. All the people I have talked to regarding our plans played the antagonist part as they insisted that we head to Pagudpud first then Laoag then Vigan. But I have already made up my mind and we had already booked in Grand Pa's Inn (read my review). So we explored the Vigan City and fell inloved with the old stone houses with wooden windows in the Calle Crisologo and admired the museums and old historic houses within the area.

First stop is the Calle Crisologo. I personally wanted to see how the Calle Crisologo looks like in the evening and in the morning. So as soon as we arrived, we checked out the place and used our cameras to keep the memories. The long travel is worth it - I was just waiting for Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra to show up and ask us if we were time travelers.

Calle Crisologo at night

Good Morning Calle Crisologo!

The Calle Crisologo is just walking distance from the Grand Pa's Inn, as well as other hotels/inns in the area such as the Gordion Inn.

The following morning, we once again walked down the Calle Crisologo, and we were surprised that old houses are actually business establishments - there are souvenir shops, cafe's (I saw a Mocha Blends branch), restaurants, and even a supermarket, a Super Club, and yes, a funeral parlor. Riding a callesa would be fun, I think, as you need to watch your every step because there are "gold" droppings in the streets. To be fair, the people in the area tried to keep the area well-maintained.

Crisologo Museum is our next stop. Prepare coins for donation. This is the residence of Floro Crisologo, a politician in Vigan.

Then, we went straight to the Baluarte (since we were thinking we only have half day to explore the places, and might as well explore the farthest spots first). I would write another blog post regarding our visit in Baluarte. .

Now, back to Vigan,

We checked out the famous Vigan Church. I cannot say much about churches, since they all look the same to me - or maybe they are just really made to look the same (?!). Please don't hate me, I am just stating an opinion. All I can say is that, it was nice to see old churches and buildings - thinking that some hundreds of years ago, these landmarks were already built. We can no longer count how many weddings, baptisms, and deaths happened in the church - only the eyes of walls and ceilings would know. Surprising is that, the walls of the church even served as mounds.

Next - a tricycle ride to Bantay Bellfry Tower. Prepare Php20 for donation. I love this place because the caretaker knows how to take pictures - even know how to use the DSLR and digicam. He even suggested to take pics on the stairs and suggested good views.

The Burgos Museum is our next stop. It closes at lunch time and opens at 1:30PM. The museum showcases the history of Ilocos - with actual "gadgets" our origins have used in weaving and fishing. It even has one of the few replicas of Noli Me Tangere of Dr. Jose Rizal. Don't forget to drop something for the donation.

Not a Silya Electika - but that's where they used to keep the body of the deceased person.

Next is the Syquia Mansion. The caretaker told us that Cory Quirino does stay in the house whenever she visits the place. I am very impressed with the house and the antique furniture; and how they were able to preserve them. No entrance fee - just donation.

How to get around? You can take the Calesa Tour for Php150 per hour but the places are just walking distance except for the Bell Tower and Baluarte.

The tour ended with a snack in Cafe Uno - located behind the Grand Pa's Inn. We had Iced Mocha Latte, Pasta and Club House Sandwich.

I was impressed with the perfect sauce of Pasta Puttanesca (not the usual sweet sauce) and generous fillings of the Clubhouse Sandwich. Regarding the Iced Mocha Latte - I always wonder why coffee shops always make them fancy with all the marshmallows, chocolate drizzles and a Stick-O?


What's good about the place is that it is a Wifi Zone; however, it is the only free-standing coffee shop I know which doesn't have a smoking area.

They say that half day tour is long enough to explore Vigan, which is true. We spent the rest of the afternoon buying souvenirs. Vigan Shirts at Php150 (for white ones), key chains at Php10 (wood type) and 3 for Php100 for the heavy ones. There are so many nice woven bags! But I just cannot buy them because we still have to travel back to Laoag. 

Hope you enjoyed my little tour in Vigan ;)

Let me review my album set and write about Laoag and Pagudpud. :)