Intro | Must See and Activities | Food | Accomodation | NightLife | Off The Beaten Path | Tourist Traps | Warnings | Getting There and Around | Culture | Packing List | Shopping | General Tips |


We've only just V.I.G.A.N


Intro:


Vigan, the capital city of Ilocos Sur, evokes memo-ries of glorious past. Located in the Northern part of the Philippines, Vigan is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila and includes area of the China Sea as a buffer zone on the western side of the town. Vigan is a place where one could experience the Philippine life during the Spanish era.
It was my first time to visit Ilocos Sur (my cousin's province). I was at Ilocos Sur from April 7 to April 12, 2004 and I was lucky to have visited Vigan. We took a bus from Sta. Lucia to Vigan and it took us 2 hours to get there.

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Must See/Activities:


Sites:

We visited the Calle Crisologo located on the heart of the Mestizo district. Lined on both sides by centuries old Vigan Houses, it is of cobblestones.

St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedralis also a must. Built by the Augustinians in 1790-1800 in distinctive "Earthquake Baroque" architecture.

Museo San Pablo is a museum named in St. Paul's honor. Entrance fee is Php 20.00. "This is Vigan City's newest addition to it's list of places to see. It seeks to relive the past and global possibilities in it's various exhibitions." - Museo San Pablo brochure

Plaza Salcedois the first place we saw. The elevated elliptical plaza west of the cathedral features the 17th century Juan de Salcedo Monument, the oldest of its kind in Northern Luzon. It was in Plaza Salcedo where Gabriela Silang was executed by public hanging in 1763.

We also visited Chavit Singson's Baluarte ni Gov. Baluarte’s main attraction is the mini zoo, which houses different breeds of pigs, a pair of parrots, love birds, deer, peacocks, and iguanas, among others. At the entrance, a 15-foot-plus python crawling on the floor greets tourists. The attendants say Singson’s favorite "pets" are the tigers, which are fed 20 kilos of dressed chicken every day.

Sites we haven't visited but you might want to visit:

Arzobispado = The only surviving 18th century arzobispado in the country. It's Museo Nueva Segovia showcases, antique portraits of bishops, a throne room, archdiocesan archives and other ecclesiastical artifacts gathered from various colonial churches all over Ilocos Sur.

Burgos National Museum = The ancestral house of Padre Jose Burgos in an excellent showcase of archeological and ethnographic treasures, antiques, dioramas of local historical events and photographs of Ilocano heroes and achievers. A priceless collection of 14 Esteban Villanueva canvasses depicting the 1807 Basi Revolt is exhibited on the upper floor of the museum.

And still others:

Mindoro Beach Resort
Syquia Mansion Mira Hills Eco-Park
Pagburnayan Jar Factory
Crisologo Museum
Terracota Red Clay Industry
Abel-Iloco Weavers and Native Delicacy Makers.


Here are some of the pictures I've taken around Vigan.
        
that's the bridge to vigan st. paul metropolitan cathedral st. paul metropolitan cathedral
- closer look
        
st. paul metropolitan cathedral - other side st. paul metropolitan cathedral - other side (now, closer) Don't forget to ride a horse-driven calesa. I think the cost is 150 for 4 persons. We have a local with us so we were able to haggle and it just cost us 20 each.
     
        
some house in vigan
- view from our calesa ride
another house -
view from our calesa ride
view of the china sea


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Restaurants:
     
There are McDonald's, Chowking, Jollibee at Plaza Maestro, Burgos St. There are also some sidewalk eatery that sells sandwiches and some fried stuff near that area.
Sorry, I only got Mcdonald's pictures I was amazed with the architecture ala vigan kasi
Cafe Uno
bagnet with the sauce
bagnet with the sauce

Description:
an ilocano cuisine....price = Php110.00/order

Address: bonifacio st.

Directions:
take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to grand pa's inn.....

Phone:


Website:


Other Contact:

Cafe Uno
vigan longganisa
vigan longganisa

Description:
i love this longganisa! with matching very spicy vinegar, yum! Php10.00/each

Address: beside grandpa's inn

Directions:
take a tricycle to take you at grandpa's inn....cafe uno is beside it....

Phone:


Website:


Other Contact:

Cafe Uno
cafe uno's choco banana shake
cafe uno's choco banana shake

Description:
i love also their banana-choco shake.....you should also try their gourment iced tea.....

Address: beside grandpa's inn

Directions:
take a tricycle to take you at grandpa's inn....cafe uno is beside it....

Phone:


Website:


Other Contact:

Cafe Uno
cafe uno's choco banana shake
cafe uno's choco banana shake

Description:
this is just one of the restaurants in vigan that offers ilocano cuisine

Favorites
vigan longganisa........ and the banana choco shake.........

Address: beside grandpa's inn

Directions:
take a tricycle to take you at grandpa's inn....cafe uno is beside it....

Phone:


Website:


Other Contact:

Cafe Uno
empanada
empanada

Description:
it has egg, some meat and veggies inside...... careful though, some are dripping in oil and i don't like very oily food.............price = Php20.00 each

Address: side streets..

Directions:
along calle crisologo

Phone:


Website:


Other Contact:


Below are some of the list of places to dine:
1. 3M's pizza - Cor. Salcedo & del Pilar Streets / Tel. #: 722.2178
2. Caferia Del Maestro - Plaza Maestro / Tel#: 722.5969
3. Cafe Leona Restaurant and Videoke Bar - Mena Crisologo St. / Tel.#: 722.2212
4. Plaza Sanitary Restaurant - Plaza Burgos / Tel.#:722.2251
5. D'Jers France Restaurant - Collegio Business Center / Tel.#:722.3688
6. Hai Long - Gen. Luna St. / Tel.#:722.3265


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Hotel and Accomodations
We only visited Vigan for half a day so there's no need for us to bother with the accomodations. But there are lots of places to stay within the area. Just ask around or go to the tourist information center. Or you might want to take a peek on the list below:


1. Aniceta Mansion (the picture above)
#1 Crisologo St. Vigan City / Tel.#: 722.2383
Rates:
Breakfast - Php75.00
Room for 2 - Php1,100
Room for 3 - Php1,500
Room for 4 - Php1,700
Room for 10 - Php3,000
Extra person - Php300
Extra bed - Php300


2. Casa Teofila Lodge
Pantay Daya, Vigan City / Tel.#: 722.2682
Rates:
Aircon for 2(24hrs.) - Php500
Ordinary for 2 - Php300
Extra bed - Php100


3. El Juliana
Quirino St. Cor. Liberation St./Tel.#:722.2994
Rates:
Aircon/TV - Php650
Aircon/TV good for 2 - Php700/750
Family Room for 3 - Php900
Additional Beddings - Php150


4. Gordion Inn Bed and Breakfast
V.delos Reyes Cor. Florentino St./Tel.#:722.2526
Rates:
2 Persons w/ free breakfast - Php1,200
Extra bed w/ breakfast - Php300


5. Mom's Courtyard
Bongtolan, Vigan City / Tel.#:722.2105/722.3203
Rates:
Room for 2 w/ aircon - Php1,300
Room for 7 w/ aircon - Php1,800
Room good for 5 - Php1,400
Room good for 17 - Php4,500
Cabin Suite for 2 - Php1,800
Cabin Suite w/ attic for 4 - Php3,500
Cabin Suite for 4 - Php3,000
4 Rooms for 2 - Php1,200
Additional - Php150


6. Playa de Oro Resort
Brgy.Mindoro, Vigan City / Tel.#s:722.8771 to 8775
Rates:
Dormitory room rate (6 persons) w/ aircon - Php1,500
Dormitory room rate (6 persons) w/ aircon & tv- Php1,600
Executive standard room rate (2 persons) w/ aircon - Php1,000
Executive standard room rate (2 persons) w/ aircon & tv - Php1,100
Standard room rate (2 persons) w/ aircon - Php600
Standard room rate (2 persons) w/ aircon & tv - Php700
Extra Bed - Php200


7. Vigan Plaza Hotel
Plaza Burgos / Tel.#:632.0317/722.8552/1527
Rates:
Single w/ aircon/tv - Php1,590
Double w/ aircon/tv - Php1,890
Twin w/ aircon/tv - Php2,290
Dormitory Type w/ aircon/tv:
-> Rooms good for 7 - Php6,100
-> Rooms good for 6 - Php5,100
Extra person - Php300
Extra bed - Php100


8. Vigan Heritage Mansion
Cor. Liberation Blvd. & Crisologo St. Tel.#:722.6495
Rates:
Standard Twin Sharing - Php1,500
Deluxe Single/Twin Sharing - Php2,500
Standard Quad - Php2,500
Standard 3-5 persons - Php1,500
2 Rooms DeLuxe 3-6 persons - Php3,000
Family Room 4-8 - Php4,000
Dormitory for 10 persons - Php4,000
Extra bed/Extra person - Php300


9. Villa Angela Heritage House
#26 Quirino blvd., Vigan City / Tel.#:722.2914
website:www.villaangela.com
Rates:
Cuarto del Senor - 2 pax, a/c, private T/B - Php1,600
Cuarto del Hijos - 4 pax, a/c, cpmmpon T/B, w/ veranda - Php2,000
Cuarto delas Hijas - 4 pax, a/c, common T/B - Php1,800
Cuarto Pequeno - 2 pax, fan-cooled, common T/B - Php800
Dormitory A - 10 pax, double deck beds, a/c, private T/B - Php4000
Dormitory B - 12 pax, double deck beds, a/c, private T/B - Php4,800
Extra person/bed - Php250


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NightLife


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Off the Beaten Path


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Tourist Traps


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Warnings or Dangers


I'm the type who easily gets diarrhea so I am careful when eating out in the provinces and drinking water. It would be best if you always bring your own mineral water and some diatabs or immodium just in case.

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Getting There and Around
Getting There:
By Land
The 408 km stretch from Manila to Vigan City is a comfortable several hours ride along the scenic Ilocos Highway. Partas Bus Co., Dominion and the Philippine Rabbit Bus Line regularly ply the Manila-Vigan route.
Fare would range from Php250 to Php350.
Travel time: 8 - 10 hours from Manila.

By Air
Laoag International Airport is serviced thrice a week by Philippine Airlines to and from Manila. Public transportation is available for trips from Laoag City to Vigan City which is 80 kilometers or 1 1/2 hour drive away. Visit www.philippineairlines.com for more info about the airfare.


Getting Around:
One can move around Vigan on a "calesa" tour or tricycle. Minibuses and jeepneys provide transportation from Vigan to other municipalities and neighboring provinces.

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Culture


Their dialect is Ilocano. It would be best if you have a friend who speaks the dialect so it would be easy to haggle. But don't worry if no one in your group speaks the dialect they are also fluent in Tagalog and English.

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Packing List
mineral water
diatabs or immodium or any anti-diarrhea meds
camera!


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Shopping
We bought our Vigan souvenir t-shirts on one of the old houses lined in the Calle Crisologo. Some of the ground floors of the old houses at Calle have been turned into shops where souvenir items and Vigan furniture could be found at reasonable prices.
You can also shop for modern items in Plaza Salcedo (tiangge-like shops) and Plaza Maestro (those two pictures)


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General Tips:

Vigan Map here
You might find these websites helpful:
vigan website
ilocos sur website
ilocos norte website
marlin's vigan gallery 1 (vigan in summer)
marlin's vigan gallery 2 (vigan in november)


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