What To See in Vigan City

by - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If you're looking for a non-beach trip that won't hurt your pocket, visiting Vigan, Ilocos Sur is definitely for you. From Manila, land travel takes around seven hours depending on the season and traffic situation. We traveled during the Holy Week so as you can already tell, there are little changes in the itinerary.

We stayed at Metro Vigan's Fiesta Garden Hotel Resort and Spa. They have pools both for adults and kids with slides, a restaurant with free breakfast for hotel clients, and a spa. Sounds exciting? I'm just getting started. But what I loved best about this hotel is their passion to give that festive feel through their interior design and architecture. Everything is very 'Pinoy' and sophisticated. You gotta see each room's intricate door carvings yourself.

Fiesta Garden Hotel ViganFiesta Garden Hotel ViganFiesta Garden Hotel Vigan
Fiesta Garden Hotel ViganFiesta Garden Hotel Vigan
Baluarte Zoo
We explored the city the very next morning. Our first stop was Baluarte. If there's one place I've been meaning to see in Vigan second to the Spanish-styled houses, it will probably be the Singson's Baluarte. I wanted to see his (house) and tiger but I think it can only happen through group and advanced reservations. I delighted myself with the overall view instead. There were different parrots, a flock of sheep, horses and all that cute stuff.

Crisologo Museum
Crisologo Museum is a century-old family mansion of the Crisologos turned into a museum. According to Vigan's website and the stories relayed by our calesa driver, Congressman Crisologo died a tragic death; he was assassinated by an unidentified gunman. Although the crime's still unsolved up to this day, the family was never motivated by revenge and instead made sure that the death of Sir Floro Crisologo will never be forgotten through this museum.

Calle Crisologo
For the Pinoys who want to experience being transported back to the old Spanish Colonial period, Calle Crisologo is the perfect place to go. I've never been to Europe myself, but these streets made me feel that I was. It was quite simple but sophisticated. Too bad it was too crowded that day due to Holy week.

Calle Crisologo Vigan

Anyhoo, I love how everyone in Vigan was super approachable and helpful. Parang nasa ibang bansa ka talaga kasi parang never mo talaga mafifeel na unsafe ka. The policemen, I believe even if it's not their chief responsibility, were kind enough to guide us while crossing the streets. The pedestrians, the drivers, almost everyone follow the rules. I never saw anyone littering during my stay. The streets were all clean.

St. Paul Cathedral
While riding the calesa (P150/hour; max of 4-6 passengers), we passed by the St. Paul Cathedral near the plaza. We wanted to stick to our new itinerary so dropping by the church was unfortunately skipped. Say hi to our horse, Sabrina, who led us to our destination.

Bantay Bell Tower
As I've already mentioned, everyone in Vigan was so friendly. I can see from our calesa driver that he was having difficulties explaining everything in Tagalog, but you can tell from his eagerness to tell stories about his hometown that he wasn't just promoting Vigan; but he, too, loved the place.

He then guided us to this old, tall brick tower sitting on a hill at Bantay municipality. Bantay Bell Tower is a couple of minutes away from Vigan and it is famous because some scenes of the Pinoy movie 'Panday' were shot in here. Our kutsero (calesa driver) even claimed that one could see most of Ilocos Sur land from this Bell Tower.

Burnay Pottery
Burnay pottery is one of the industries in Vigan which is highly supported and preserved by its people. According to Vigan's tourism website 'local and foreign traders order burnay products to be done according to the buyer's or market specification' or custom-made. 'Most of the foreign traders are from Great Britain and Belgium'.

Hope this travel post helped you in planning your Vigan vacation. Mahalin natin ang sariling atin, ika nga. Source: www.vigan.ph. Photos by Deshibelle. Please contact me before using any of my photos. Thank you!


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