Friday, December 19, 2014

Traipsing Around the Old Town of Vigan

Hello, hello, hello! It's been ages since the last time I was able to write. Grad school was I-N-S-A-N-E, especially during exam weeks. I'm just glad that term break started after the first week of the month and I was able to embark on an adventure right away. Yay!

Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage City and it was recently named one of the New 7 Wonder Cities, among many other recognitions. We stayed there for three nights. Two nights at the beginning of our Ilocos trip and one night towards the end, on our way back to Manila. It was a pretty laid back trip so we had lots of time to go around or just lounge in the hotel.

First stop was Calle Crisologo. It is one of the most preserved streets in Vigan, complete with cobblestoned walks. Restaurants and souvenir shops can be found on this street. The Vigan Information Office can also be found right beside Cafe Leona where they give out free maps of the city. There are also several calesas and karwahes (horse drawn carriages) which can take you around the city. It's also nice to walk around and have something to drink at night in Calle Crisologo, especially now that the wind is cool.

We also visited the pottery place where you can try making pots and jars. Sadly, you couldn't take it home since these still need to be baked in a kiln. The experience was fun though. (The trial is free but tips are expected.)

Another stop people need to visit is the Syquia Mansion, which was the house of President Quirino's wife. It was grand even though it was really, really old. It was quite amazing that the housekeepers were able to preserve the place. Our tour guide, Rusty, belongs to the 4th generation of housekeepers of the family. He was a great guide and he loved taking our pictures in various places of the mansion. (Entrance is only P20 or P30.)

At 7:30 every night, there's a light and sounds fountain show at Plaza Salcedo. I was really impressed that we have something like that in one of our provinces. It's nice that it's free and kids can experience its amazing beauty without leaving the country.

And don't forget to take a peek at the Arsobispo's house and the Vigan Cathedral which are just adjacent to the nearby plaza.

Our last stop was the Baluarte, which is owned by Chavit Singson, I think. It's like a mini zoo and we came in a few minutes before closing time so the "interactive animals" were no longer around. But the place was really huge. Nevertheless, I was not that impressed. It's something I wouldn't mind skipping in our trip.

So that's basically what we did in Vigan. Then off we went to Laoag!

Calle Crisologo

Vigan at night

Souvenir shops in Calle Crisologo

Calesas and Calle Crisologo

Cafe Leona, one of the popular eating spots

Pottery you can take home

Pottery demo
I even tried making my own jar. These kuyas and little girl showed me how to make a heart shaped jar.

Syquia Mansion

Dining Hall of Syquia Mansion

Kitchen of Syquia Mansion. Now, that's a kitchen I would love to work in.

Fountain show at Plaza Salcedo

One of the oldest asrchbishop's home in the country

Vigan Cathedral aka St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral

The interior of the cathedral

Baluarte ni Singson


“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.
There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” 
– Jawaharal Nehru

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