Explore the North Side: Vigan

Music: Angus and Julia Stone (Shuffled)

sundown at Vigan

We reached Bantay, Ilocos Sur around 10:30 PM from Pagudpud (it was around 4 hours trip).

Bus: Florida
Route: Pagudpud to Bantay
Fare: 210 pesos
Travel time: approximately 4 hours.

From Pagudpud we were dropped off in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. (Petron Station). Then we got in to a trike that would bring us inside Vigan. It was a 10 minute ride and I think we paid around 50 pesos. We checked in Gorjion Hotel in Vigan (Double Sharing costs 3000 pesos plus 550 pesos for extra person – we were given discount so we only paid 3000 for the night until noon the next day (12NN check out.)

After settling in, we went around Vigan because I wanted to take pictures at night. I have always wondered how Vigan would look at night and what I saw did not fail me.

calle crisologo

heritage street

heritage street at night

another view of heritage street

We haven’t eaten dinner yet since we left Pagudpud around 6PM. So we decided to try the famous Vigan Empanada. I think my friend Suz had this quest to try every Empanada she could find. Haha this was the first.

first empanada for the night: scrambled egg inside

I don’t really have anything to compare Vigan with in my memory since it was my first time, but I can tell that progress is slowly creppin in. Some of the old houses were converted to Jollibee, Max’s, Mang Inasal and Mcdo – I didn’t try getting inside all of them. I wanted to get the Vigan feel.

And we did. Tho thing is the “NATCHOS” we tried was weird. Haha it was I think a mix of mr. chips, mayonnaise, fried longganisa and shredded cheese. It was really something.

natchos - yes with the "T" - mr chips, mayo and longganisa haha

My friends yet again ordered bagnet for the second time and I due to the commitment I made, ordered steamed Tilapia. To sooth the cold, we tried the Vigan Choco – mind you this was delicious I wanted to have another cup!

i know its just tableya but it was so delicious that night

We had an early day but since there was a free breakfast offered by the hotel, we took our time hanging out at the garden. It was a good place really. Grace’s friend Ryza picked us up since they volunteered to serve as our tour guide.

First on the list was Chavit’s Baluarte. Let the pictures speak to you of how the zoo looks. Entrance was free too!

baluarte zoo

cute deers!

these birds were the sweetest!!

it was as if they were mother and child

i couldn't get enough of them!

It was time for lunch and of course since I couldn’t eat pork, I ordered another fish. Though we were able to try Poqui Poqui Balls (really it sounds funny but it tastes good!). We ate at Cafe Uno/Grandpa's Inn.

a painting inside grandpa's inn and its interior

it looks modernized but the inside looks so awesome

entrance to cafe uno

poqui poqui balls (tortang talong)


Then we went to Hidden Garden where my friend Suz had her third type of Empanada – her second was before we ate breakfast. We bought one at the plaza before heading home last night.

the pale empanada with sunny side up egg inside

The difference from the first empanada we tried was that the red empanada’s egg was scrambled whilst the pale ones were sunny side up.

Then off we went to a few places like where they make pots, vases and all those stuff – we have one in Bicol in Tiwi Albay so it was really nothing new to me. We also visited few old houses that now served as museums like Father Burgos’ house and the Crisologo’s as well. They were big old houses really. Shows how powerful and rich the families are/were.

Our second to the last stop was the Bantay Bell Tower. Magnificent architecture. Plus the Church was amazing!

Bantay Bell Tower

Nuestra Senor de Caridad Church

front view

Last stop was the Heritage street. It was really busy compared to the 10pm stroll we had the night before. It was filled with souvenir shops and tourists haggling for pasalubongs. We went there right smack on sunset – my favorite time of the day! Pictures came out amazing!

heritage at sunset

The hotel was kind enough to keep our luggage for us even if we had to check out at noon.

The north is such a beautiful place. Now that I was able to visit Pagudpud and Vigan, I am sure in my heart that I will come back in a heartbeat.

Vigan is so rich in history. But the thing is, the town is slowly changing. I hope that the houses are kept well as it reminds us of what was once were. There is so much to appreciate in this town. And it would be a waste for anyone not to experience Vigan as well as Pagudpud.

With this, I wish you guys will be able to enjoy these two towns like I did. Although it was a short trip – just over the weekend and it seemed like a suicidal one due to the long trips, but it was so worth it.

Visit these places before it changes to something that could lessen our appreciation. 

To Manila: 
Bus: Partas (Cubao - Pasay)
Fare: 700 pesos
Travel Time: approximately 10 hours

*life is an adventure.... never stop exploring it.... that includes different places!* 

til then!


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