January 20, 2015

Vigan Again

The first time we visited Vigan was in 2009.  It was a brief visit, we took some photos at Calle at Crisologo and stayed a bit at Baluarte, because we were just invited my Amy to visit her family in Ilocos Norte.

As our first trip for 2015, it's only befitting to visit Vigan again,  as it is recently been declared as New 7 Wonders Cities of the World on Dec. 7 (December 8, 2014 at 3:00 AM Philippine Time).

We left Manila last January 1 at around 9pm and reached the town proper at 2am. Thanks to the new TPLEX!

St. Paul’s Cathedral Also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral, it is the setting of many religious activities. The massive structure has a Baroque architectural design with neo-Gothic, pseudo-Romanesque and Chinese craftsmanship influences.

We've asked around for Metro Vigan Inn, and in less than 10 minutes 
we reached our accommodation

After breakfast we headed to Bantay Bell Tower, which is just 10 minutes away from Metro Vigan Inn.
Bantay Church and Bell Tower (Bantay Belfry). This tower on a hill gives a 360 degree picturesque view of Vigan. One can go all the way to the top to witness the beautiful view and enjoy the cool wind.

We climbed Bantay Belfry, which sits on a hill. This towering structure is one of the sights that must be visited by tourists because of its historical and cultural significance, as well as its commanding view of Vigan from the highest point. 

Bantay Belfry is popular among local travelers because scenes of Panday movie were shot there.

Bantay Church and Bell Tower, Vigan

St. Augustine Church

After a few meters’ walk from the belfry, visitors can enter the St. Augustine Church which was built in 1590. The Church has a deep brown, neo-gothic façade. 

Don't just take photos, explore the place with the help of a local guide to learn more
about the history and the beauty of the place.

Then we went to Crisologo Mansion
which we didn't enjoy much because they were about to close for lunch.

Crisologo Museum is well-maintained museum. Managed by the Crisologo family, a prominent political dynasty in Vigan. On the first floor is the antique calesa, the library and study, where visitors can view the book collection and numerous news clippings about this political family. Inside the house, one can see the various possessions of the family that were used in their everyday lives. The museum is open throughout the week just make sure to go at least an hour before their lunch break.

Pottery in Vigan

The kids had so much fun trying out for the first time how to make pots at Pagburnayan (Jar Making Factory). This can be an interesting and educational stop for families with kids. Burnay is an earthenware jar that dates back to pre-colonial history. It was used then for domestic purposes but it is mostly bought now for decorative purposes. The burnay is skilfully crafted by the potter’s hands with the use of pottery wheel and kiln. Fine sand is used to temper the clay. Once fashioned into the desired shape, it is placed inside high-temperature ground kilns made from brick and clay.

Syquia Mansion, Vigan
Medyo masungit ang mga nagbabantay at namamahala sa Syqui Mansion but if you're into huge rooms filled with exquisite and elegant antiques from all over the world, you'll enjoy this place. Syquia Mansion is the ancestral home of the former first lady Dona Alicia Quirino, the wife of President Elpidio Quirino. It showcases extensive memorabilia of the former president.

Calle Crisologo
Vigan tour is incomplete without walking down the famous but overly commercialized Calle Crisologo. The street is lined with too many stores that it's hard to get a nice shot of the place. The Heritage Village is a World Heritage site that is famous for its cobblestone streets that have been featured in many postcards, books, magazines and other publications. This street transports you to the Philippine colonial period, especially at night when it is romantically lit with street lights and Calesas pass by so you better visit Calle Crisologo at night, during lean season.

Abel Weavers, located at Barangay Camagaan, the place offers a variety of intricately designed colourful Abel Iloco woven materials on sale and exhibits the traditional art of handloom weaving.
The kids enjoyed playing with the cute dogs

The owner of this place let us taste their wine

Hidden Garden

You have to put Flores Pots and Hidden Garden in your list when in Vigan. Discover a place enveloped in colorful blossoms and indulge yourself with its special Vigan empanada, bagnet, sinigang na bagnet at iba pang masasarap na pagkaing Vigan tulad ng poque-poque! 

 FAmily from Pasig that we met at Hidden Garden

Baluarte has mini zoo with animals from the Philippines and all over the world. You can ride a pony for free. No entrance fee for this massive property, which is owned by the former governor Mr. Chavit Singson. There are caged animal viewings, a butterfly garden and a scheduled animal show.


Plaza Salcedo
Features the 17th century Juan de Salcedo monument, the oldest of its kind in Northern Luzon; Gabriela Silang was executed here by public hanging in 1763

The only surviving 18th century arzobispado, it served as headquarters of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1889 and the official residence of the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. This is the residence of the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. In early years it used to be an ecclesiastical court. It also served as General Emilio Aguinaldo’s headquarters in 1898. In 1899, the invading Americans, under Lt. Col. James Parker used the building as a garrison.

Plaza Burgos

Plaza Burgos is the smaller of the two major plazas in the city of Vigan that can be found right beside Saint Paul Cathedral’s Bell Tower. It was built to remember the martyrdom of Father Jose P. Burgos, one of Vigan’s sons executed by the Spaniards.

 We stopped at Quirino Bridge before heading back to Manila. Quirino Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in the Philippines, enabling motorists cross over Abra River.

Here are other Tourists spots we weren't able to visit. Hopefully, on our third visit, we'll be able to accomplish it all.

Santiago Cove (A stretch of golden sand beach in Santiago with amenities for picnics and water sports

Tirad Pass (This is where the young general, Gregorio del Pilar and his men made their last stand against superior American invaders in 1899), 

Cabugao Beach (Cabugao is a 30-min ride from vigan. from vigan, go farther north, and pass by bantay, sto domingo, san ildefonso, magsingal, and san juan. when you reach the town proper, ask for pug-os. the beach resort is just a few meters off the high way. 

Pinsal Falls features Angalo’s footprint, the legendary Ilocano giant. The falls is a few kilometers of rough road from the highway. Located at Barangay Babalasiwan, Sta. Maria. 

Other waterfalls in Ilocos Sur are CANIAW FALLS in Bantay, GAMBANG FALLS in Cervantes, AWASEN FALLS in Sigay and BARASIBIS in Sinait. 

Museo Nueva Segovia. Features artifacts and archdiocesan archives and other Episcopal paraphernalia. 

Museo San Pablo the first and only museum in the region committed to conservation of religious heritage through a distinct faith-cultural approach. 

Damili Village
Experience the unique art of moulding terracotta in different forms by hand and foot.

Burgos Museum
The museum houses a collection of Father Burgos’ memorabilia and photographs, family antiques and jewelry. It also has Father Burgos’ quarters and a mini library containing his student Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, given to him as a gift.

Leona Florentino House
Leona Florentino, the mother of Isabelo delos Reyes, was the first Filipina to receive international attention as a poet. The house has been designated as the Provincial Tourism Center and administrative building of the Vigan Heritage Commission.

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