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Reliving the Past in Heritage Village, Vigan City

After a short stopover in La Union, we continued our way to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, the original destination of our road trip.

Vigan City is about 400 kilometers away from Manila, depending on traffic situation, around 8-9 hours drive via NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) and SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway).  It is located on the west coast of Northern Luzon and is the seat of provincial government of Ilocos Sur.  Vigan City is famous for its Heritage Village, a tourist destination where ancestral houses and other structures built during the Spanish era can be found.  Heritage Village was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Site for these well-preserved ancestral houses and other historical and religious structures.

It was already evening when we reached Vigan City.  We walked around the Heritage Village, along Calle Crisologo and nearby streets, admiring the vintage houses that they turned into tourist attractions, taking photographs here and there.

the famous Calle Crisologo of the Heritage Village, Vigan City
forgot the street name but this one's also part of the Heritage Village
the fusion of the old and the new, McDo in an ancestral house
Plaza Burgos, Vigan City
Done with sightseeing and capturing images, we then had our dinner in one of the stalls (turo-turo style) near the Plaza Burgos.  We ordered rice, pork caldereta and of course, the Ilocos pride, sinanglaw, a beef soup of innards and skin.  I am not fond of innards so I just had a spoon of its soup to taste.  Sinanglaw for me is like the Tagalog's nilagang baka, only that instead of beef meat, innards were used and no vegetables were added.  A papaitan sauce is used to add a bitter taste to this soup and when I asked what's the papaitan sauce made of, my friend just said, 'don't ask, just eat', and that's when I said, 'I think I'll just pass', hahaha!

Ilocos' sinanglaw, the upper-right photo is a version of it from another stall the next morning
After dinner, we asked the locals for the direction to Granpa's Inn.  We're supposed to stay there as I have read good reviews of the place but we're told that all their air-conditioned rooms were already occupied.  We don't have reservation so we just asked for a place they could recommend and told us about the Aniceto Mansion.  Just like the other hotels in the Heritage Village, Aniceto Mansion is an ancestral house converted into a budget hotel.  It is located near the Plaza Burgos, adjacent to the St. Paul Cathedral. Exhausted from the long trip, we decided to stay in Aniceto Mansion rather than look for some place else.  Anyway, the room's spacious enough for us all (we're four in the group) and more comfortable than the fan room we saw in Grandpa's, and most importantly, the room's air-conditioned.  :D

Out of exhaustion, we woke up late the next morning.  Breakfast would only be served until 9am so we go down in a hurry to avail of the free breakfast (room rate includes complementary breakfast). After the breakfast, we then attended the mass at the nearby church, the St. Paul Cathedral.  St. Paul Cathedral is considered as the major religious landmark not only in Northern Luzon but throughout the country as well, as it has been the center of Roman Catholic devotion for centuries (source: http://www.vigan.ph/). After which, I again took some photos, this time of the church and the Plaza Salcedo across the church.

St. Paul Cathedral, Vigan City
Plaza Salcedo, Vigan City
Before heading back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the long journey back home, we first had our snack at the Vigan Empanadaan, a row of stalls along the street beside the Plaza Burgos that sell Vigan empanada.  Vigan empanada is a delicious snack made of sauteed cabbage, papaya and other vegetables with egg and Vigan longganisa stuffed in a crispy taco-like shell. It's so yummy we had two orders each of this empanada...nagtakaw eh, hehe!

Vigan empanada
That's about it with our Vigan road trip (with short stopover in La Union), a two-day adventure  on and off the road.  I am so glad I finally visited this City; it's a great place really, unique and beautiful.  With its colonial houses turned into tourist attractions; with its affordable, delicious and unique-tasting dishes, Vigan really is a must-visit city of the north. :)

Date of Visit: November 5-6, 2011

23 comments:

  1. I haven't tried sinanglaw but yung empanada natikman ko. 2 klase yung natikman ko yung isa sweet yung longganisa na nilagay yung isa naman e salty. I miss Vigan empanada na! ganda ng calle crisologo sa gabi!

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    Replies
    1. isang klase lang ata natikman namin, un salty pero ok naman. :)

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  2. been there too during... wala nga lang akong nasave na photos... :(

    visiting back from YS

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    1. Hi Rhainnes! Dami ko din travel na ganyan, nde pang-post un mga photos kase nde focused sa place talaga, sayang nga eh. :(

      Thanks for visiting. :)

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  3. grabe ang tagal ko na hindi napunta sa Vigan. as in batang bata pa ako nung huli kong pasyal jan. all i remember is that para syang setting sa Panday movie, yung old old pa :D

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    Replies
    1. hehe...sobrang tagal na nga, sana makauwi at makabisita ka ulit. :)

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  4. never been to vigan? But i wish i could be there someday..i was here

    do you mind if we exchange links?

    http://www.moneytalksph.info/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Katy! Thanks for visiting, happy to exchange links with you, I already added you on my blogroll (Badges & Links). :)

      Delete
  5. added your link sis..thanks for that...see yah

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  6. wow, seemed you have a great time in Vigan!
    -----
    Regards, Edmaration

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    1. Hi Edmaration! Read your post about your Vigan trip, it's nice to know the love story that goes with the history of Vigan. Thanks for sharing that history and thanks for visiting here. :)

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  7. gusto ko din makapunta ng Vigan., hehe., nkakatakot lang kasi pag walang guide., hehe :)

    btw, i have a blog contest where you can win Sony PSP, P3,000, P1000 etc., :) Join now.,

    and care for an exchange link? http://www.strifeofcloud.com/link-exchange/

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    1. Hi Jr! Ok lang solo trip sa Vigan, no need for a guide. Ang nakakatakot eh un mga ancestral houses kung mag-isa ka lang matutulog, if you're easily scared just like me, kelangan mo ng kasama...hehe.

      Thanks for the invite sa contest, am not familiar with Final Fantasy, nde ko maka-relate..hehe, not much of a gamer eh. :) About the exchange link, sure, add na kita sa blogroll ko (badges and link). Thanks ulit! :)

      Delete
  8. This is one place that I so like to visit someday. Di ba dito ang may masarap na longanisa?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim! Hope you could visit Vigan someday. Yes, masarap talaga longganisa nila. :)

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  9. Trip kong puntahan ang Vigan, buti nalang namention mo sa reply mo kay Mr. Jr na "Ok lang solo trip sa Vigan.. Ang nakakatakot eh un mga ancestral houses kung mag-isa ka lang matutulog.." Hmm nagkainteres ako bigla. napapaisip ako, diba't ilang beses ko na din silang nakamustahan before, why pa ako matatakot?! Hehe mula Vigan daanan ko na din ang Baguio para mailathala ko ang aking November horror issue, lels!

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    1. Aww, am afraid of ghosts kaya kahit gusto ko try solo trip, nde ko pa nagagawa, buti na lang may mga kasama ko dito sa Vigan. San sa Baguio ka nagkaron ng encounter para maiwasan? ehehe!

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  10. I love the streets of Vigan! It's been ages since the last time I've been there.

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  11. I miss Vigan. Hope we'll be able to visit that place before the year ends!

    I've been to Vigan and Loag over 5 years ago. It was a very memorable experience.

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    1. Same here, this Vigan trip is also memorable for me. Never been to Laoag yet, except I think for a short stopover many many years back. I hope to visit Laoag and Ilocos Norte soon. Thanks for visiting again Mrs. Kolca. :)

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  12. You should visit Laoag! I will be ur guide:))

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  13. How I miss Vigan!
    Gabi na rin kami gumala sa Heritage Village nila and sobrang ganda :)

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  14. haven't tried sinanglaw! anyway ang ganda talaga sa Calle Crisologo lalo na sa gabi. Nakakamis ang Vigan! Babalik talaga ako jan. Hahaha
    Nice article Mam tal.

    http://wondroustravel.blogspot.com/2013/02/hip-hip-hooray-its-my-birthday-today.html

    ReplyDelete

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