It's been three weeks since our 5-day trip around Ilocos, and still I miss the places that we visited and the people that we've met a long the way. Truly, Ilocos is an enchanting place -- one filled with lots of surprises! So in memory of our trip, let me share to you what transpired on our first few days there by starting out with Vigan City.
WHAT TO DO IN VIGAN
If you’re strapped on time like we were, try to put aside at least 2-3 hours for a city tour around Vigan. With us, we were able to arrange a tour with a nice tricycle driver named Roy, right after getting off the bus. We asked him to take us around town, wherein we arranged a 3PM pick-up at our lodging that same afternoon.
|With Kuya Roy -- our nice tour guide/tricycle driver. :)|
We just came from Laoag then, from which we traveled (via Partas Bus) 2 hours and 10 minutes to Vigan --- the Heritage City of the Philippines. We immediately checked-in at Grandpa’s Inn, which was at exactly 2 PM. We had our late lunch at Grandpa’s Inn’s “Kusina Felecitas”, changed our clothes right after, and then waited for Kuya Roy's arrival.
WHAT TO SEE DURING DAYTIME
We started with a brief historical tour of the Philippines by visiting the nearby Burgos Museum, where we witnessed a lot of vintage elements and read about old Filipino practices.
After that, we headed out to see the Crisologo Museum, where we were able to see first-hand, Congressman Floro Crisologo and Governor Carmeling Pichay Crisologo’s exquisite memorabilia’s. Ate Remy, the caretaker of the museum was very hands on with the tour, and was even nice enough to let us ride an old vehicle that was parked inside the house.
After our time at the museum, we then visited the Pagburnayan Pottery Factory (a few minutes away from the Crisologo Museum). We refrained from making any pots at the time, so we watched some of the guests practice their pottery-making skills instead. Anyway, we only stayed here for a couple of minutes since we wanted to see a different tourist spot right away.
Our next two destinations were the Bantay Bellfry Tower and the St. Augustine Parish Church. Both can be located in the municipality of Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
If you wanted to conquer your fear of heights, try climbing the steps of Bantay Bellfry Tower (once used as a lookout point during past wars according to our guide and bell tower caretaker, Kuya Ping). From the tower, we took pictures of the different bells. We were also able to learn how to distinguish each of its distinct sounds (for births, funerals, weddings, etc.). And for another remarkable souvenir, Rubel took a photo of me with the St. Augustine Parish Church as my background -- considered as one of the oldest churches in Ilocos Sur.
When we were done admiring the view from the church, we then headed out to Governor Chavit Singson’s Baluarte Park & Zoo. From there, we found ourselves walking alongside a wandering yet friendly ostrich. We also took photos with the Tigers on our background, and even ran along with the powdery-white flock of Geese.
What to see during nighttime
The city of Vigan has been established as a World Heritage Site. You’ll be able to visit a lot of authentic Spanish-built structures in this town in just a matter of minutes -- as all of these are just a tricycle-ride away.
When in Vigan, take the time to visit the Heritage Village, where Calle Crisologo is located. Don't forget to take pictures on this famous road, especially at night. You'll be amazed at the vintage-sepia effect that you'll see from your photos right after a few snapshots.
What/where to eat
It’s a must to order Kusina Felecitas (Grandpa’s Inn’s Signature Restaurant) Bagnet Sisig, Felecitas Fried Rice and Pinakbet (best ordered without the Bagnet). You can’t go wrong with this combination. Surprisingly, we were only billed Php490 for all three viands. It was that affordable! To know more about our food review on K.F., you can read it here.
You can also try dining at Cafe Leona's by Calle Crisologo. My friend and fellow travel blogger, Edmar of Edmaration recommended this restaurant for us to try that night. Also after dinner, the three of us still went out to get some dessert at this nice pastry shop at Vigan Plaza Hotel, where we ordered each a slice of Reese-flavored cheesecake. To know more about our food review on C.L., you can read it here.
|With my fellow travel blogger & friend, Edmar! :)|
Did you know that the name ‘Vigan’ was derived from a Taro plant called Bigaa? Yes, you read it right! But other than that, the city is also the oldest, remaining Spanish colonial town.
Get your street-smart tips here!
One of the fastest and cheapest ways that can get you around Vigan City is to hire a tricycle. There will be plenty of drivers who will offer their services. So it’s best to know the best deals out there. For a heads up, a good deal would have to be set at PHP100/hour. Also note that a regular tricycle ride will only cost PHP 10/person.
Anyhow.. here's our 5-day TRAVEL EXPENSE SHEET. Hope it helps with one of your future trips in Ilocos. :)
UP NEXT: PAGUDPUD!
Explore & Be Free!
Tour Guide/Tricycle Driver