Vigan: The Ilocano Pride

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I've always wanted to see Vigan since the time they became one of the New 7 Wonders - Cities of the world. I was really excited to see the well-preserved architecture around the city, I should say that some of these weren't literally preserved, some of them were restored and some are, well, left alone. If you know me personally, you'd know how much interest I have with heritage architecture. Moving on, Vigan was pretty much, a city of photography, every corner around the place is worth taking photos of.

First things first, the thing that I hated the most about this Vigan trip is the 12-hr drive. We left Cavite at around 3 AM and arrived at 3:45 PM. I did not have fun during that ride, especially when you have nothing to eat on the way - which made thing a lot worse. Upon hitting the city of Vigan, I was finally relieved that things were over, that we could finally enjoy the wonders of Vigan, On our first hour there, smiles just literally turned upside down. I was somehow mad that we went there without having any hotel reservation. I'm not blaming my mom for that, I thought there won't be many people there as well, but there were tons, the streets were literally filled with people. Just a little less congested than EDSA station during rush hour, it was nearly impossible to take good photos of the place without a bunch of people in the way.

So much about the travel and the crowd in the city, its time to share to you what to see in Vigan. One thing that amazes me about it is that the locals know their place well enough that they offer tours themselves and even know the whereabouts for tourists to really enjoy Vigan. You may either ride a karitela or a tricycle to go around the city. They offer tours where they drop you off to all of Vigan's tourist spots. They charge you by drop of by the hour depending on your choice. We were told by the tricycle driver we hired that the by-hour is more practical and cheaper (depending on the time you want to spend on each destination) than the by-drop rate.

The most famous place and the place you mostly see in ads about Vigan is Calle Crisologo. The old brick road, the restored bahay-na-bato along the streets and a bunch of souvenir shops are just some of the things to see in Calle Crisologo and is the most crowded place in Vigan. Given the amount of time we had to spend in Vigan (which is technically just 12 hrs from the time we arrived till the time we left) we weren't able to see it during night time.

There are lots of tourist spots you can visit in Vigan, we weren't just able to see all of them due to the time issue. Some of the places we visit was the Bantay Bell Tower ruins, which my mom said to be the remains of the church that was buried due to some event. The thing that makes me love Vigan even more is that all the tourist destinations are for free and are open for donations if you want to donate, although hotel rates are really quite pricey if you wish to stay near Calle Crisologo, popular choices are Hotel Luna, Grandpa's Inn, Hotel Salcedo, and Cordillera Inn.

Baluarte is like a zoo-type of tourist spot with all the animals and animal rides that are also, for free and open for donation. If I'm not mistaken, the Singsons own the place and are funding the needs of their animals. I really adore the white deers or damas roaming free around, it's like a safari but with less animals, kind of.

The next drop was in Hidden Gardens, a few minutes away from Baluarte. Admission is also free. But at least buying something from the locals selling their products around the place is kind of a courtesy. There's also a restaurant inside which is, I think, always jam-packed during peak season so, don't expect to have a free table when you go there.

The last leg of the trip was in Pagburnayan Jar Factory, Vigan's most famous product. They are well-known for their metal-like jars that really screams quality. They also let the people try making a jar themselves, or keeping the jar they made in shape and not destroy it.

The only thing I was really regretting was that we weren't able to ride a karitela around the city. But seeing a white deer and a lot more deer somehow make-ups for it.

There you go, Vigan, the culture-rich New 7 Wonders City of the world!

For more photos of our Vigan trip, do visit my VSCO Grid here:

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  1. I went to Vigan last year as well. It's a charming place. :)

    1. Vigan's just filled with things I love, heritage and deer.

    2. Calle crisologo is more than just calle crisologo. most of t he tourists go all to the famous street while other streets are much desserted giving a laid back feel. and one thing more, new 7 wonders is not part of unesco,, its different. hehe! enjoy!

    3. Thanks for pointing that out. Some of the deserted streets looks sad and the houses there are I think, yet to be restored? Correct me if I'm wrong, somehow, the crowd agitated me when I was there.

  2. I went to Vigan last year. Too bad I didn't have a DSLR yet. I only have LOMO-ish pics. :) Vigan is lovely right?

    1. The photos I posted here are from a camera phone. Vigan's perfect in every picture.

  3. Looks like a great town to visit and your crisp photos are fantastic! Love it!


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