Search for content, post, videos

Budget Travel to the Wonderful City of Vigan (Photo Blog)

Vigan

Let me share an efficient way to tour the city without the need of a travel agency, kalesa and less ride to a tricycle (the main transportation in Vigan). This is more applicable if you are staying outside the heritage site and recommended for a budget traveler who enjoys walking. Please be reminded that it’s going to be a long but rewarding walk since most streets of Vigan are absolutely picturesque.

 

You won’t regret walking in the city for it’s considered as one of the best walkable cities in the Philippines. Discover how Vigan Transformed from Day till Night by simply roaming around the City. It’s safe, fun and FREE!

 

1. St. Augustine Church and Bantay Belfry Tower

 

Start your trip at St. Augustine Church and Bantay Belfry Tower. Located at Municipality of Bantay, approximately 5-10 minutes’ walk from City Center.

 

Cost – No fee, but you will be asked to give a donation upon entering the place.

 

Bantay Belfry Tower

Standing Strong over centuries

 

Constructed in 1591-1592 as the belfry of the church and at the same time the watch tower of the town.

 

Bantay Belfry Tower

View from 2nd floor

 

I just stay here for a couple of minutes. I’m concerned about my safety since I felt that the wooden floor was fragile.

 

Shrine of Our Lady of Charity

The church is also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity

 

I wasn’t able to take pictures inside the church because of an on-going mass. This place was one of my favorite spots in Ilocos Sur. The tower reminds me of Cagsawa ruins in Bicol.

 

2. Plaza Salcedo, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Municipal Hall and Burgos National Museum.

 

ilocos sur

Welcome to ILOCOS SUR!

 

Plaza Salcedo

Early Morning View of Plaza Salcedo.

 

Plaza Salcedo

Small bronze statue of Jose Rizal in Plaza Salcedo facing St. Paul Cathedral

 

Best visited for an early morning walk, fewer people, calmer and to avoid too much heat from the sun.

 

Vigan Cathedral

This year (2014), the current Vigan Cathedral is standing proud for 214 years.

 

The original cathedral was built in 1574. Another version was constructed in 1641 but destroyed by an earthquake. A reconstructed church was gutted by fire in 1739. The current church was constructed in 1790 and was finished in 1800.

 

Standing in front of Plaza Salcedo is the Municipal hall. I really admire its construction. However, I didn’t take a picture since I’m disappointed with the big Christmas Tree blocking their Hall. At the back of the hall is Burgos National Museum, which is currently under renovation.

 

3. Calle Crisologo, Crisologo Museum and Syquia Mansion.

 

When thinking about Vigan, I believe that Calle Crisologo is everyone’s top of the mind. It’s absolutely the Heart of Vigan City.

 

Calle Crisologo

Kalesa; The only mode of transportation along Calle Crisologo

 

Calle Crisologo

Old houses along Calle Crisologo that was converted to Hotels, Cafe and Souvenir Shops.

 

Calle Crisologo

I was mesmerized by the view and admired how people were able to preserve the beauty of Heritage Village.

 

Calle Crisologo

Business Establishments along Calle Crisologo

 

No wonder why it is one of UNESCO’s Heritage sites here in the Philippines. A perfect example of a best preserved Spanish colonial town in Asia. I was captivated by the elegance of Calle Crisologo.  A short walk along the cobbled street makes me feel that I’m walking back to 16th-18th Century. Once, a mestizo district where prosperous Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese people are living. Simple and Elegant Houses are standing gracefully along the street surviving many calamities throughout the centuries. Now, Number of Old mansions along Calle Crisologo has been converted to Hotels, Restaurants, Cafe’s and Souvenir Shops.

 

Syquia Mansion

My personal favorite; Syquia Mansion

 

The house of former president Elpidio Quirino houses some memorabilia of their family. This mansion is actually owned by his wife. Dona Alicia Quirino. Entrance fee is 30php.

 

When visiting Syquia Mansion. Make sure that you will be toured by Kuya Ferdinand. He knows every story inside the mansion  and narrates it very well.

 

Syquia Mansion

Grand Living Room

 

The lady in the painting is Victoria Quirino-Delgado. The second daughter of President Quirino. She fulfilled the duty as the youngest first lady in the Philippines when her mother; Alicia Syquia, and three siblings were massacred by the Japanese during their occupation. The 2nd presidential daughter to make a debut in Malacañang Palace and the 1st presidential daughter to be wed in the palace.

 

Syquia Mansion

Grand Living Room

Paintings hanging on the wall are identified painted by national artist Fernando Amorsolo.

Syquia Mansion

Replica of Spolarium painted by National Hero and Painter’s assistant

 

Syquia Mansion

An imported Grand Mirror, It’s a sign of wealth during their time.

Syquia Mansion

The hallway for Aliping Saguiguilid. Being the lowest class in the society. Literally, they are not allowed to be seen in any part of the house. Coming from Sagigilid (by the side) they are only allowed to walk in this part of the house.

Syquia Mansion

Master’s bedroom

Syquia Mansion

The Chapel. It was closed to public 2 years ago due to an incident of theft with one of the statue’s heads made of Ivory and diamond eyes.

Syquia Mansion

The Grand Dining room. I love the manual ceiling fan.

Syquia Mansion

My personal favorite; THE AZOTEA

Syquia Mansion

The peeping hole at 2nd floor which are used to view visitors in the receiving area before they are allowed to enter the grand living room. Originated the saying that Aanhin mo ang bahay na bato kung ang nakatira ay kwago, mabuti pa ang bahay kubo ngunit ang nakatira ay tao”

 

Next stop is Crisologo Museum, a century-old mansion of Crisologo Family converted into a museum. I’ll be honest that most parts of this house gave me goosebumps. Especially inside the law office, where the bloodied clothing of Floro Crisologo was displayed. He was the former congressman of Ilocos Sur was shot to dead on Sunday in October 1970 inside the St Paul’s Cathedral. The Museum is open for public viewing without a fee. However, you will be asked to give a donation. Unlike, Syquia Mansion no tour guide was assign to this museum so I didn’t appreciate the history behind every memorabilia.

 

 

Crisologo Museum

Entrance Gate. Souvenir Items are available inside the museum,

 

Crisologo Museum

Failed ambushed to Gov. Carmeling Crisologo during her pregnancy on May 10, 1961. Her child was named bullet because of that incident.

 

Crisologo Museum

Inside the Law Office

Crisologo Museum

His murder case remains unsolved to this day.

Crisologo Museum

Grand Living Room

Crisologo Museum

Another creepy part of the mansion; Dressing Room.

 

4. BALUARTE

 

Coming from City Center, you can take a Tricycle going to Baluarte also known as the fortress. Baluarte is approximately 20 hectares wide which is privately owned by Ilocos Sur Governor. Chavit Singson. The best thing about this place is, a big part of the area is free for public visit.

 

Hundreds of people are coming to this place every day to take a view of Chavit’s personal collection of animals which was bought from other countries and endemic here in the Philippines.

 

Baluarte

Welcome To Baluarte

What made me amazed was to saw different species of animals, freely moving around the area without a clash. Although, I wasn’t able to explore some parts of baluarte. I noticed that most cages are empty. Still, it’s a big expense for someone to maintain this kind of “mini” zoo

Baluarte

Different kind of animals living together without fighting.

Baluarte

Its a very unusual scene; Uncaged Birds.

Baluarte

Lovely Geese 🙂

Baluarte

The king of Baluarte

Baluarte

Everyone will surely be surprised to see a golden building in this place.

 

There is currently a construction of a museum and posters of upcoming wild animals to be added to Chavit’s collection. Without a doubt, Baluarte will be continuously improved.

 

Vigan at night

 

You can’t definitely leave Vigan without having a tour at night. It is equally or more stunning than a morning walk. Before 7:30PM during weekends make sure that you get a perfect spot at Plaza Salcedo for its Vibrant Fountain Show.

 

Vigan Cathedral

View of Vigan Cathedral at night.

Vigan Cathedral

Vigan is on FIRE!

Vigan Cathedral

Bluer than Blue

Vigan Cathedral

Wonderful Vigan

Vigan Cathedral

Amazing Vigan!

Vigan Cathedral

Vigan for new 7 wonders City!

The Dramatic Lights at Calle Crisologo made me feel that I’m traveling back to the past.

Calle Crisologo

Calle Crisologo at night!

 

Update: May 8, 2015, when Vigan was officially inaugurated as one the new 7 wonder cities in the world. Vigan which was established in 16th Century represents a fusion between the Philippines, Europe, and China which formed a cultural element that is uniquely Vigan.

 

Looking for Hotel in Vigan? Get a discounted rate by booking with Agoda below.

agoda banner

 

3 comments

  • Like Robert Lee, I have only been to Vigan once but hoping to visit as well! I live in the US now and my first and only visit (so far) was when I was 12. I fell inlove with how unique the place looked–the historical buildings and richness in culture was something that stayed with me from that trip. (Too bad Social Media and taking lots of photos were not as popular then…I don’t have pics to look back to 🙁 )

  • Vigan is one of the historical cities of the Philippines where Spanish era houses and streets exist. I have been there only once and hopefully, would be able to visit again with more than enough time to see everything with an eye on details. By the way, Plaza Salciedo is stunning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *