The trip to Vigan is a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t miss for it transports you back into the 16th century. it is important to know that Vigan was declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved Spanish colonial towns.
What’s unique about Vigan is that it not only showcases European architecture but mixes that of oriental culture so much so that you’ll see Chinese designs beautifully spread all over the city.
I stayed in a hotel along Calle Crisologo called Cordillera Inn. The room showcases the typical bed of people in higher social strata during the Spanish colonial time with four-poster bed and grandiose bathroom. Just what I needed!
Calle Crisologo is perhaps the most famous and the most visited street of all of Vigan. Here you’ll see a parade of the best what Vigan has to offer with full reminiscent of all what is left after the Japanese occupation. Note that some of the houses were burned during the war only to be restored later following their original design. Walking along the street you’ll see some houses that are still to be acquired by the local government through litigation.
Perhaps the best time to roam around Vigan is during sunset around 6:30pm when they start to light up the streets in Vigan. Then, you’ll see how amazingly beautiful these structures can become.
Viva Vigan Festival
I was lucky to witness Viva Vigan Festival during my visit. Viva Vigan spawns into many sub-but equally important festivals such as Binatbatan and Karbo Festival. I managed to take a few pictures during the event. The festival features both the local and international costumes and a parade of colorful and highly adorned Kalesa, the country’s old mode of transportation.
For foreigners who are wondering how a Kalesa looks like, here’s an example. It’s decorated so you can relax haha! It shouldn’t look like that on a daily basis, only for that day.
Vigan’s cuisine is based in vegetables and more vegetables. They also boast famous delicacies like Okoy (shrimp fritters) and empanada, a kind of pastel or stuffed bread with veggies inside and egg yolk fried to perfection.okoy and empanada
You’ll also love their grilled veggies and poqui-poqui,a meatless eggplant-based viand that anyone would love!poqui-poqui grilled vegetables
Lucban Longganisa (local sausage seasoned with local spices and meat) is also a must try. Bagnet is another popular food but never had the chance to try it. Maybe next time.Lucban Longganisa
How to Get There
Take Partas bus in Pasay and it will take you straight to their bus terminal in Vigan. From the bus terminal, hire a tricycle and pay Php30 to take you to Calle Crisologo. Traveling by your own car might be convenient, too, and takes less time. You might also want to take a plane to Laoag and travel by bus 2 hours going to Vigan. The latter is the best option if you plan to visit Ilocos Norte first before heading to Vigan.
Vigan is a fun place to visit. What other exciting activities you have experienced on your travel to the north particularly the Ilocos region? Any fun memories down there? Share your thoughts on the comment section below.
All pictures taken using iPhone 5