I’ve never ventured beyond Baguio City. Ever! So I grabbed the chance when my balikbayan uncle asked if we could keep him company over the weekend. And so did I.
Travelling in style in deluxe lazyboy seats, we never thought of reaching the Heritage City of Vigan in under 10hours. I was prepared for 12 long, butt-aching hours of torture. But there we were. With only a stopover at some local eatery along the freeway, we landed in eerie silence of the quaint town.
Vigan is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site located 400kms north of Manila, west coast of Luzon island. This 5th class city is well-known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture (more of that in a li’l while) apart from their politicians of course. 🙂
Home to traders from the sea in the early times, Vigan also is the church’s bastion of Catholicism in the north after Cagayan suffered monumental loss due to earthquake.
Mang Boy was early to pick us up from our hotel. He’s our designated host and tour guide for the duration of our quick north getaway. He brought with him his Nissan Presage. Just right! For tour services, click here and here.
And so, we nurtured our erring stomachs first. A heavy breakfast is the topmost priority when travelling. And so Vigan welcomed us with their well-known bagnet (deep-fried pork) and longganisa (local sausage).
And aside from learning something about their culture, you also need to learn something about their culinary treats. It’s one way of identifying the places you’ve been to and endearing you to the locals.
Top them off with sukang Iloko. Fantastic! My tummy is happy as ever. 😀
First stop was Bantay church and bell tower.
Bantay church and bell tower is a 10minute drive from the town plaza. It oversees the neighboring barrios and the wide open waters of the West Philippine Sea. The church itself is already 420years old. What’s fascinating about this is that the belfry is located separately from the church (from as I see it).
According to the tourism officer, the belfry serves different purposes during its institution. Known as Bantay (local word for guard), the tower serves as a watch tower for intruders entering from the sea. They pound on the bells whenever there are newlyweds, deaths and newborns being christened.
All bells are still in functional state yet they won’t dare pound on it for fear of breaking them. This site has seen its fair share of visitors up to local actors and actresses who wants to shoot their scenes atop. Who wouldn’t when you have a 360degree view?
Then, we won’t miss one of the top honchos of the province Baluarte de Singson.
A mini zoo where Gov.Chavit places his most precious pets like tigers.
Due to the searing heat, we had a glass of halo-halo and then walked away. We heard Chavit is coming to grace a graduation event. I just have to turn his invitation down.
This feline perished into his favorite hobby, catnaps.
Well, just like her, we longed for something shady and cool.
What turns out to be just a hobby then became a business and into one of the preferred destinations.
Until it was time for my incarceration before lunch.
Not so fast, as we tried a li’l bit of the Ghost movie featuring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.
This is one of the province’s source of income. They claim clay from ricefields and turn them into art. It’s no joke being a potter. Ask Harry! The dog.
Fast forward, lunch is best served at Cafe Leona before entering the old world that is Calle Crisologo.
This is a must try for everyone visiting their cozy restaurant.
The place gets filled up easily with customers. Tourists, and business-minded people alike frequent this place so better have a table reserved for your group in advance,
The place is well-lighted and well ventilated with soft music playing in the background. There’s an old feeling into the resto (probably due to the lighting and wall artistry) plus add to the fact that they use old antique furnitures. Really heavy narra seats and dining tables.
But as soon as they serve the food, you’ll never go wrong. Order the pinakbet and sinigang na malaga then take a nap after. Which we did as well, just what the doctor ordered.