ILOCOS SUR | A Vigan Quickie

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Horse Drawn Carriages at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City

With only three hours before our scheduled bus ride back to Manila, we tried to make the most out of our visit at Ilocos Sur’s capital, Vigan City.

Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan is formerly an island colonized by the Spaniards during the 16th century before the three rivers isolating it connected it back to the mainland. It boasts of unique blend of Filipino-Spanish building designs that is maintained up to this day. Most of these structures can be seen at theAncestral Houses at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City turn-of-the century Calle Crisologo.

The centerpiece of the city; its streets are paved in cobblestones and massive ancestral houses of varying designs lining up its sidewalks. Most of these houses are now either converted as hotels, souvenir shops and antique stores.

Caleza’s or horse-drawn carriages ply the area, inviting tourist for a tour of the city. To maintain a sense of the colonial era atmosphere, any kind of motorized vehicle are not allowed to pass through its avenue.

How I wish though that there were café’s situated along its sidewalks as it would be the perfect place to have a cup of coffee to while away the time.

Besides Calle Crisologo, Vigan offers a lot more points of interest within its city and a few along its outskirts. To start off, there is the massive St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, the sprawling Plaza Burgos where you can have a taste of the famed Vigan Empanada, the quaint Vigan pottery house and a host of museums dotting the city. Calle Crisologo at Ilocos Sur's Vigan CityOff its fringes, tourists can check out the lush Hidden Garden, Chavit Singson’s Baluarte zoo and the Bantay Church with its detached brick bell tower.

And of course, when visiting Vigan, you better not forget its local food. You gotta taste their crispy bagnets, garlic longanizas and their quirky okoy and empanadas. You also might want to try out some of their colorfully named dishes; kabatiti (gourd), poki-poki (eggplant with egg), and utong (stringbeans).

Three hours is most absolutely not enough to cover all these sites, you’ll need at least two whole days to fully appreciate the city’s old world charm. Sadly those three hours was all we had, work definitely gets in the way of a good travel adventure.

Carriages at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City 
Old Buildings at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City Antiques at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City
Vigan Church at Ilocos Sur's Vigan City

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  1. I fell in love with vigan for only 3 hrs. so pretty, charming, warm. why did i ever think it's scary ;>

  2. Vigan's really pretty, right? Can't wait to get back there too. =]

  3. VIGAN! The last photo looks like a painting. Ang galing! If the photos are straight of the camera, I bow down to your awesome photog skills. If it's post-processed, bilib pa din ako! Makes me wanna jump into a car and drive straight to Vigan now na. Haha.

  4. Dani
    Thanks Dani, Vigan is one of my favorite places punta na!

    All my photos pass through post-processing as I usually do bracketing specially for landscape photographs. I combine the two photos I took (one light for the foreground and another dark for the skies to show up).

    Our cameras unfortunately cannot capture everything our eyes can see specially for high contrast scenes, so I have to resort to post-processing. :]

  5. Nice Pictures.
    Maybe you could feature more of Ilocos Norte/Ilocos Sur. Im from that province. Ilocos Norte I mean.

    Im following you now.

  6. Rob
    I have actually been to the Ilocos region a few times before but that was before I created this blog. Pag nadaan ulit ako, of course ifea-feature ko sya dito in full detail.

    Thanks for following bro!

  7. sir I'm going to there this April :)

  8. fell in love with your pics im now a fan :)

  9. the main reason i went to Philippines last summer was VIGAN. i fell in love since one of traveling magazine in my country featured Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte as their main article. Stay at Villa Angela, just a couple step from Calle Crisologo. Vigan, what a lovely city.

  10. Virginmojito
    Glad to hear that! I agree with you all the way, Vigan is indeed a beautiful city :)

  11. I'm always inspired by your photos. I was still in my 2nd year in highschool when I first visited Vigan. I'll return next year :)

  12. Tripadora
    Wow ang tagal ng pagitan ah. I'm still not sure kung kelan ako makakabalik but I wish soon, may nakita kasi ako magandang shirt from vigan eh haha