Vigan is a World Heritage site, renowned for its cobblestone street and antiquated colonial houses. It is the oldest surviving colonial city. Travel time is more or less 7 hours from Manila. Walking down the narrow cobbled street will lets you back in time, it will give some glimpse of how to live from the past.
Bus lines that has a regular trip Manila-Vigan
- Philippne Rabbit
- Partas Bus Line
- Dominion Bus Line
You can ride a tricycle to roam around the city “frozen in time” but we opt to the eccentric way. We rode a “calesa” or horses carriages. Also for the benefit of my friends first time experience. The rate is per hour. That day was also the birthday of “kuya”, our kutchero (the driver), our tour guide, the historian and phtographer rolled into one. Happy birthday kuya!
FIRST STOP: ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Built in 1641, this church became a Cathedral when the seat of Diocese of Nueva Segovia was transferred here from La-lo, Cagayan.
This is where Floro Crisologo was shot and died while attending a mass.
SECOND STOP: ST. AUGUSTINE PARISH CHURCH AND BELL TOWER OF BANTAY
Built in 1950 and named after its patron saint —St. Augustine of Hippo
THIRD STOP: BURGOS MUSEUM
Father Burgos ancestral home turned museum, it stands near the provincial jail where Pres. Elpidio Quirino was born.
Inside the museum aside from the collection of memorabilia, photographs and Antique furniture (all are donation according to the caretaker), there is also a mini library inside.
It is now called Ayala museum at Vigan and a Satellite of the National Museum.
The Crisologo’s old family mansion was converted into a museum after Cong. Floro Crisologo death. Cong. Floro Crisologo was shot while inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, when he was about to fall in line for the communion, October of 1970. As a Congressman, he works for the confirmation of Tobacco Law and the establishment of SSS. The museum showcase a lot of their family’s memorabilia, mostly about the late Congressman’s assassination.
SOUVENIR SHOPS AND POTTERY MAKING AT THE BACK
SIXTH STOP: LUNCH AT HIDDEN GARDEN
Owned by a landscape architect–Francisco Flores. A relaxing ambiance will welcome you to this place that showcase nature. Aside from plants and souvenirs, they also offer Ilokano specialties like Bagnet, pakbet, longanissa as well as thirst quencher perfectly match with nature inspired hideout at Lilong ang Lilang coffee shop.
After we had our lunch we head back to Cordillera Inn to check-in and also to take a bath and change clothes before going to Gov. Chavit Singson’s place.
SEVENTH STOP: BALUARTE
Get acquainted with animals owned by Gov. Singson in this 20 hectare place that considered as his fortress. You can have photo opt with the Tigers and birds.
After that we go back to Calle Crisologo to catch the barbecue and souvenir shopping along Heritage village. I so love the place, this is one of my favorite. After the shopping spree moment we had our dinner at Cafe Leona and go around Vigan. We bought Sundae at Mcdonalds to know if the taste differ, oh well. We bought empanada and other street foods and go around and explore the area. We passed by The Municipal Hall, Burgos plaza and streets where you can find their banks, shops and other very essential establishment. Truly, somewhere in the middle past and present met. Despite the need to preserve tradition and appreciate heritage life has to evolve.
FINAL STOP: HERITAGE VILLAGE
There are places that are stunningly beautiful at night and Heritage village is one of those. Left with nothing to do, we sat along its gutter, to the Calesa inspired chairs, explore the area by the eyes, think about the past, think about history and appreciate heritage and at some point appreciate colonization.