Part 2 Adventures in Ilocandia: Let the tour Vigan!

At this moment, I still am in a euphoric state over our Ilocos trip. The mere thought of our adventures in Ilocos lightens my mood. So on our second day, we went to Vigan the capital city of Ilocos Sur.

We departed from our hotel at 8:15 AM and departed to Vigan at 8:30 AM. To get to Vigan, we had to ride a 1.5 hour bus trip. We hopped in a Partas bus liner which takes you to Vigan in 60 km/hr speed. That is a good thing after all those bus accidents all over Luzon. Just inform the tricycle driver that you're bound for Vigan then they'll take you to the bus terminal.We were kind of scared that we might be travelling in a Victory bus liner. Bus fare: PHP 137.00/each.

We arrived in Vigan around 10:00 AM plus. We already had a contact tricycle driver but I really don't recommend him because he is a lousy and boring tour guide. Tricycle rate is PHP 600.00 for all the places that we went which I will be summarizing next.

Vigan City tricycle plate number.

So our first stop was the museum of Floro Crisologo. I really am not familiar of this person but his museum implies that he is a political figure in the province who was shot in a church while attending a mass. The museum showcases his memorabilia and achievements during his political years. Donation is asked in the museum. PHP 20.00 is enough for two persons. I gave PHP50.00 you know na newbie pa.

By 11:00 AM, we left Crisologo museum and proceeded to SyQuia Mansion where former Pres. Elpidio Quirino lived. He was married to Alicia Jimenez SyQuia who is a daughter of a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family in Vigan City. The museum showcases the lifestyle of the rich and famous of his time. I had a history information overload in this tourist stop. I wasn't able to take down notes but the place is really traditionall beautiful. It is basically an old mansion.

SyQuia Mansion
Dining area in the mansion

Painting of Fmr. Pres. Elpidio Quirino.

Here is one history fact I recalled. Do you know why Filipinos were called Aliping Saguiguilid in the old times? It's because poor Filipinos working as maids before were not allowed to pass by the main sala or any major part of the mansion. They had their own hallway. That is one of the reasons why they a were called Aliping "Saguiguilid". Excuses to those who already know. Teehee! The one collecting the entrance fee is a 4th generation "katulong" (maid) as said by the tour guide. Entrance fee: PHP 20.00

Maid's hallway.

We finished looking around, taking pictures and listening to the tour guide in SyQuia Mansion around 12:00 PM. Next destination is the Baluarte of Chavit Singson. There's nothing much there. There were a few animals around the place. I was expecting a lot. Attractions in the place were the caged tigers, the roaming ostrich and the pony rides. There is no entrance fee.

The roaming ostrich.
After around 20 minutes, we proceeded to the Hidden Garden. Hidden Garden is a.....hidden garden. Haha! Actually it is a garden restaurant that features Ilocano dishes. We took pictures then left. The place has nice reviews according to other blogs but if you are in a beer budget touring in Vigan better find a carenderia and have your lunch there. So we proceeded to a carenderia in the city proper. So sorry I forgot the name of the place. Each viand costs around PHP 30.00 to PHP 50.00.

Hidden Garden

We had our lunch around 1:00 PM already. Our next destination is the St. Augustine Parish Church, or as commonly known Bantay Church. We also went at the top of its old bell tower and the view of the city meets you there. It was saddening because there were a lot of vandals inside the bell tower. What's worst is that the TV show Panday (the new one) intentionally holed part of the bell just for the TV show and that 's like a decades old bell. Tsk2.

Bantay church

Bantay church bell tower

At 1:30 PM, we proceeded to Padre Jose Burgos Museum. He is one of the GOMBURZA priests. I wasn't really fascinated and interested with the place. Entrance fee: PHP 20.00

We went back to the city proper around 2:00 PM. We strolled at a mall. I forgot the name. At 2:30 PM, we proceeded to one of my most awaited tourist spots in Ilocandia, the UNESCO heritage, Heritage Village. Also known as the Kamestizoan District. The traditional Spanish houses were really beautiful. Going there felt like you were back in the 18th and 19th century or if pictures were taken in a DSLR cam the view would be like in those traditional places in Europe. There were "calesa" rides that costs PHP 50.00 for a round around the village. Heritage Village is located in Calle Crisologo. We brought souvenirs within the village. Locals said the view would be much nicer during the night but it was still 2:30 in the afternoon. So you guys better stay in the Heritage Village till the sun sets to witness the beautiful night view. =D  On December 2, 1992, the historic city of Vigan was declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations).

50 peso Calesa ride

They said when you get to Ilocos one should try their empanadas. So we walked around the area just outside the Heritage Village and spotted an empanada stall beside the street. Their empanadas are different from the empanadas in Cebu. Cebuano empanadas have meat, raisins, egg, thick crust (you know the bread part) and no need for vinegar when you eat it. Ilocano empanada have cabbages (lots of it), meat, super thin crust and egg. You also have to eat it with vinegar. Each empanada costs PHP 30.00. After trying the Ilocano empanada, I still prefer the Cebuano one me being a full blooded Cebuana. :)  We all have different taste buds you might taste it otherwise.

Vigan empanada
Heritage Village was our last stop in Vigan. By 4:00 PM, we asked our tour guide to drop us where we could ride a bus going back to Laoag. We were still in a Partas bus. There were a lot of passengers so we just stood for around an hour. Bus fare: PHP 137.00/each.  We arrived in Laoag almost 6:00 PM and spotted the Ilocos Norte Capitol.

Ilocos Norte capitol
I really want to try some Ilocano dishes. My boyfriend knew La Preciosa restaurant because his friends have been there. It is an old house converted into a restaurant. Their dishes costs around PHP 100.00 to 400.00. We ordered their signature Ilocano pinakbet but sadly my taste buds were still in conflict. I still prefered the Cebuano pinakbet with hippon. Aside from pinakbet, we ordered two more viands and a dessert. Our total bill was PHP 810.00. It was too expensive for me and I wasn't really satisfied. The blueberry cheesecake made up for the pinakbet.

We left La Preciosa around 10:00 PM already since we happen to meet my friends who were also in Laoag. It was good to see familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. We excitedly talked about our trips that made us went home almost 10:00 PM. We took a tricycle ride back to our hotel and got our bodies charged for our last day tour the next day to Burgos, Bangui and Pagudpud. Sigh. I still want to spend more time in Ilocos. 

This will be it for today stay tuned for Part 3 of Adventures in Ilocandia.

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1 Thoughts:

Valerie said...

We failed to visit these museums and old houses in Vigan. They were closed because it was Undas. :) MAybe for our next visit.