Ilocos Tour 2015 - Vigan City

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo It was not the best time for touring northeast Luzon. Three typhoons are falling in line to enter the country. We decided to book our tickets during the New Year's promo coz particularly in this date for the long weekend. But, the show must go on and all we can do is enjoy one's company, and appreciate the fact that we have the time to spend for one another. Together with my college buddies, Carla, Jervin and Coline, we flew to Laoag on the 16th of July.

Upon arriving Laoag, we headed straight to Vigan City on a 3-hour bus ride. We arrived at the city and the rain welcomed us. We checked in at RF Aniceto Mansion right at the end of Calle Crisologo, the famous cobble-stoned street at the heart of the city. We spent the night at the cozy room and just felt thankful that we arrived safe, and felt excited for the days to come. He're a photo story of Day 1 of our Ilocos Tour.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo RF Aniceto Mansion
Such beautiful interior! Bricked arches, wooden furniture, and a window view of the garden outside. A perfect ambiance to have breakfasts everyday!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo RF Aniceto Mansion
Our breakfast together after a long time.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
Time for the city tour! We hired a tricycle (Kuya JR) to take us around the city. It cost us 800 for a day tour, and could fit 4 persons. It's smaller than our tricycle here in Zamboanga. I went for the backseat so I can see the surroundings. Lots of lovely old houses!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish
First stop, the St. Agustine Parish Church, also known as Bantay Church.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish
At the right side of the church, there's a garden chapel with the beautiful ruins as a background. As per tradition, we lit candles and offered our prayers.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish Bell Tower Belfry
Just nearby, we went the iconic belfry of Vigan, the Bantay Bell Tower, which sits on top of a hill. Before entering the complex, we gave a donation, and a guide assisted us in taking our photos. It's his idea for us to do this cheesy pose.hahaha Heart heart!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish Bell Tower Belfry
Some wiki facts: The old historic belfry of the church known as the Bantay Tower, which served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish colonial era, gave the town its name - bantay (meaning to guard).

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish Bell Tower Belfry
We went inside the tower and here's what it looked like. There are wooden staircase and the big windows offered us a view of the church and the nearby community.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Bantay Church St Agustine Parish Bell Tower Belfry
Groufie of a lifetime :)

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Syquia Mansion Elpidio Quirino
Next stop is the Syquia Mansion at Quirino Street. We paid 50 pesos each for the entrance.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Syquia Mansion Elpidio Quirino
Goofing around the house. Beautiful design of the exterior, a carriage which was used by President Elipidio Quirino, and a garden at the center of the complex.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Syquia Mansion Elpidio Quirino empanada irenes
Just outside the house, we spotted Irene's Empanada. Vigan holds an Empanada festival so we have to try their famous dish. I ordered the empanda with Vigan longganisa and egg, dipped in vinegar. I must admit, it didn't impress us much. Zamboanga has better versions but i guess we haven't tried the best they could offer.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Baluarte zoo Chavit Singson
Then, our guide brought us to the famous Baluarte of Governor Chavit Singson. It's a zoo famous for Singson's Tigers.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Baluarte zoo Chavit Singson tiger
A must-do when you visit Baluarte is to take a picture with a Tiger. I had the privilege to hold the milk bottle to keep him steady. He's so cute!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Baluarte zoo Chavit Singson dinosaur jurassic park
Rawr! First time to see huge dino sculptures. Amazing!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Baluarte zoo Chavit Singson
Photo op :)

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Baluarte zoo Chavit Singson
There were miniature horses, tropical birds, geese and deers, too.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Hidden Garden restaurant
At last, time for lunch! Kuya JR brought us to Hidden Garden, a beautiful garden resto.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Hidden Garden restaurant
Food was great! Place was nice!

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism St Pauls Metropolitan Cathedral
It's almost 3 o'clock and we're very excited to see the main attraction of Vigan. So we skipped the Pottery factory and headed to Calle Crisologo. En route, we spotted St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
And there we were, at Calle Crisologo. We hired a calesa, a horse carriage, which was the primary mode of transportation back in the days. This particular street is paved with cobble stone, which can only be used by calesas. No tricycles and cars allowed here. FYI, this loveley creature is named Sabrina.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
It was a surreal experience! We we're like kids, very estatic and giddy for our first calesa ride. We were overwhelmed by the beautiful view. Old hispanic buildings, red bricks peeping from the cracks, vintage lamps, capiz windows, handmade signages; just like in the movies.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
Just me and Vigan <3 a="" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XPIMZ131iX8/Vbl0xMctMfI/AAAAAAAADJU/IsgoIkxrB5o/s1600/20.jpg" imageanchor="1">travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
After the one-hour tour, we decided to extend an hour. We haven't had the full experience of Calle Crisologo yet, so we decided to walk around and waited for night time to come. We bought some souvenirs, too.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
Manong said we should see Calle Crisologo at night when the buildings fade away, and only the facade and cobble stone are lit by the yellow light of the lamps. We waited, but time was running out, we have to get our bags back and head to the bus station.

travel Vigan Ilocos Tour Sur Philippines tour tourism Calle Crisologo
It wasn't the best time to tour but we made it our best tour! Thanks to my crazy fun buddies who can make me have the best time in my life. Always learn to appreciate! On my next post, we're going back to Laoag for the city tour. Click here.
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