I spent the second day of my Ilocos tour in Vigan. I’ll soon share my entire experience and itinerary in the next few days. From Laoag, where my hotel is located, I rode an ordinary bus to Vigan. The bus left at 7AM and arrived in the heritage city passed 9:30AM. I got off along Quezon Avenue in Front of Vigan City Hall (a block just across Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol).
Though not familiar with the place (since it was my first time in the city), I confidently walked to look for Calle Crisologo – where you can witness the remnants of Spanish colonial times. I took Florentino Street and made a left turn at Jacinto Street. Seeing Vigan Cathedral (officially Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral) gave me a clue that I was close to what I was looking for. I took some photographs of the church, then crossed Plaza Burgos. Luckily, there was a food and trade fair beside Plaza Burgos that time so I filled my eyes first with the displays. The fair, by the way, aimed to showcase Ilocos Sur’s tasty delicacies and interesting handicrafts.
I reached Calle Crosologo by accident when I got to the other end (Plaridel Street side) of the Food and Trade Fair venue. I took a deep breath before staring my stroll in the World Heritage Site. Greeting me were the new building which designs were based on the old architecture, maintaining the Hispanic look and feel. The sad thing to see were the original structures, though occupied (by souvenir vendors), appeared unmaintained. And yes, there were old houses displaying “watch out for falling debris” placards. But in general, the uniqueness and the splendor remained.
Half way of my “colonial” journey, I met a trike driver (sorry I forgot his name) and offered me a tour for P150 per hour. I didn’t take it because I had no idea of how long will it take for me to complete the tour so I ask how much would it be if it is per site or location. We agreed on ₱300 for four spots. I left Calle Crisologo to go on the tour. I promised to return, besides I anticipated for a more majestic scenery when the sun is off.
Kuya [trike driver] took me first at the Bell Tower of Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Caridad close to St. Agustin Parish in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. We then headed to the pottery makers wherein tourists are allowed to have hands-on pottery experience. After trying my fist clay craft, we proceeded to Hidden Garden. Exotic floral species and other ornamental plants are found in the garden. Our last stop was Chavit Singson’s Baluarte. I spent most of my photo sessions at the butterfly farm. The farm’s zoo keepers also conducted a mini animal show.
Those trips took us two hours which cost me the same if I took the per hour tour fee. But at least, I completed the tour without worrying my time consumption.
I asked Kuya to drop me at Plaza Burgos near the venue of the food and trade fair. I took my lunch and tasted the delicacies I was not familiar with. I rested for a moment then moved to my museum trip. On my list were the Birthplace of Fr. Burgos and the Crisologo Museum. After taking photos of the museum artifacts, I headed to Plaza Maestro to stroll and waited for the nightfall.
When the dark slowly invaded the city, the lights started to shimmer displaying a great wonder. Yes, I wasn’t wrong, the real beauty is nocturnal and only shows under the yellow light. Kalye Crisologo in Vigan is lot more elegant at night.