On the last leg of our Ilocos Adventure, the two of us found ourselves in the old districts of Vigan. Not only did we see the aged houses of Calle Crisologo, but we also witnessed, accidentally, a fun and colorful local fiesta. Swerte! Aside from that, we also passed by a huge church in the nearby town of Sta Maria.
This post is the 4th and last part of my Ilocos Blog Series. For the Pagudpud leg of the trip check this link, for Burgos-Bangui leg of the trip click this link, and lastly, for the Laoag-Paoay-Batac part of the trip follow this link.
Day 3 - January 22, 2014
After three days of going through and around the well known places and not very well known places in Ilocos Norte, we finally came to Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur. Sa wakas, we entered the southern leg of our Ilocos backpacking trip.
It was past 6 in the evening when we got in the central plaza. There were so many people, loud sounds were being played, and colorful lights illuminate almost every aged structure around the place. It appears that something was going on, and we're totally clueless about it.
|City Hall of Vigan|
The clueless us ignored this hullabaloo and proceeded to Green R Hotel to check in. Located near the public market and about 10 mins walk to heritage town, this budget hotel is the cheapest lodging place in Vigan perfect for the kuripots like us. Though I have to stress out the this is really a budget hotel, don't expect any special pampering once checked in.
After we settled in, we went out again to look for something to eat for dinner. We were supposed to ride a trike back to plaza but opted to walk instead. Pano ba naman kasi, siningil kami ng 80 pesos nung trike na nasakyan namin from plaza to public market, e ang lapit lang naman, epal siya. Through the dark and unfamiliar streets of Vigan, we reached central plaza by following the direction where trikes are coming from.
An Accidental Fiesta in Vigan
The festive vibe was still there and the people multiplied when we got back in the plaza. Clearly, something was going on, pero clueless pa rin kami. Until we saw people heading towards Calle Crisologo. We became curious and headed there as well.
|the crowd awaits for the event|
We were stationed right across Cafe Leona. We were supposed to have dinner there, but can't cross Calle Crisologo because of the human barricade. This leaves us with no other choice but to wait until the parade finishes. Oh great, the parade just got started.
|it's a street dance parade of different schools from different barangays in Vigan City.|
|We enjoyed watching the street dance parade to the point that we forgot we were hungry.|
|Calle Crisologo during the night. The busy stores and tourists of the day vanished.|
The place was very picturesque but the damn cold night made us want to head back to the comfort of our room and stay there for the rest of the night. So after just a few snapshots, we strode back to our hotel room.
Day 4 - January 24, 2014
Came the fourth day (last day) of our Ilocos Trip, our goals were set to visiting the well preserved heritage houses that line Calle Crisologo, which make up the Old Town Vigan (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as the other interesting sights found in the city. We're also targeting to visit another church that is also enlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, alongside Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte. The provinces of Ilocos Norte and Sur are home to three World Heritage Sites enlisted by UNESCO, lahat nadaanan namin sa trip na ito!
|Good morning sunshine! Good morning old town.|
|No other vehicles can run down the length of Calle Crisologo but the traditional Kalesa. Sila ang bida ng kalsada sa Vigan.|
|children having their morning exercise in Calle Crisologo.|
|good morning from Vigan|
Luckily, we spotted Aniceto Mansion already open at 6 in the morning. It's a heritage house that has been converted to hotel and restaurant.
|When in Vigan, what else should we ask for breakfast? Naturally, Vigan longanisa. |
Easily my favorite food when I'm in Ilocos
|Centerpiece of Plaza Burgos is a lovely monument that is built to honor Padre Burgos, one of the 3 martyr priests of GOMBURZA.|
|A monument to honor one of the most prominent sons of Vigan, the 5th president of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino, is built at the central plaza of the city.|
|Provincial capitol of Ilocos Sur. It looks great during the night with all the colorful light illuminating the facade.|
|Saint Augustine Parish Church, commonly known as Bantay Church. Tourists usually go here not to pray but to reach the top of its bell tower.|
|The famous bell tower of Bantay town.|
|Since the bell tower is situated on an elevated place in Bantay, the nearby towns and mountains can be viewed from the wide windows.|
|deep fried Ilocos empanada sa kapitolyo|
|If I rememeber it right, I think it's P100 per bundle (12 pcs)|
|Baluarte of Ilocos Sur.|
|miniature horses live harmoniously with deer and goats|
|Of course, an obligatory snapshot with Chavit's tiger.|
|and his bird.|
|There are also dinosaurs in the place, so better watch out.|
The Big Big Church of Sta. Maria
There is one last destination we wished to visit before jump into a bus bound for Manila, and that is the big big church in the town of Sta. Maria. At first, we were unsure how to get there, but my instinct tells me to take a jeep to reach the place. Taking any south-bound bus can bring us there as well, but it was our last resort.
|Sa pagtatanong namin sa paligid, we were directed to the van terminal located just beside the Provincial Capitol. There are vans plying the route to the town of Sta. Maria. Travel time is more or less 30 minutes.|
So what's so special about this church that made us want to drop by the town of Sta. Maria? Well the fact is, it's one of the four churches in the Philippines considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The other three are San Agustin Church in Manila, Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, and Miag-ao Church in Iloilo.
|Built on top of an elevated plot in the town of Sta. Maria is the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, or simply Sta. Maria Church.|
|the humongous size of Sta. Maria Church. Mapapanganga ka sa laki.|
|hello from Sta. Maria Church|
|just checking if there's a way to get inside through the roof|
|Oh well, mission getting inside the church was a failure. But that can't stop us from munching this delicious Ilocano empanada. Yum yum.|