Monday, May 07, 2007

Viva, Vigan!

Our four-day vacation in Vigan with the barkada was one of the best road trips our group has done. The 10-hour trip to the historic city was uneventful and we managed to arrive at our hotel, the Vigan Heritage Hotel, shortly before the start of the Binatbatan Festival Parade.

The parade started around 4 pm , and though the temperature was above humid, lots of people gathered along Liberation Avenue to watch the dancers in their colorful garb dance to a festive beat of the rondalla.

After the parade, my friends decided to take a calesa tour of Vigan, while my niece and I went back to the hotel. Along the way, i managed to take pictures of various interesting houses within the Vigan Heritage Park.

We spent the rest of our first day in Vigan trying out the various delicacies such as empanadang vigan, and of course, trying out the night life at Vigan's premiere bar, Sitio Bar, right at the heart of Vigan's Heritage Park area. The next morning, we managed to take a walking tour of the heritage park and we came upon the statue of Leona Florentino, Foremost ilocano poetess, playright and satirist. Her statue can be found in a small plaza right in front of the Max's Restaurant and Casa Leona, the poetess' residence.

There are lots of interesting architectural designs along the famed Heritage Strip, and one of these is the 3-storey marvel i stumbled upon while strolling the strip early one morning.

We had lunch on our second day at Max's, and we had their popular fried chicken and the famous bagnet and longanisang vigan, and the vegetable viand "dinuyduy".

Here are my friends smiling sweetly for my camera, as they prepare to order lunch.

After lunch, we decided to take another stroll through the heritage strip (along Calle Crisologo). The sun was at its hottest since we arrived, but that didn't prevent us from taking a stroll.

At the Vigan Heritage Park Tourism Office, we came upon Bernard. Here you can see our friend Louwi posing with the cuddly dog.

Meanwhile, across the street, a Vigan resident observes us tourists while unintentionally posing for this picture. I found out later on she was the wife of the sculptor of the statue whose head she was carressing.

We found a sign leading to a photo studio and so we decided to have our picture taken as a group, vintage style, that is. The studio provides spanish era dresses for its clients. We found out after the photo shoot that the costumes are owned by Camp Suki. That's me as Padre Damaso.

while wasiting for the hard copy of the photos, we went to the Burgos Museum (formerly Ayala Museum and now National Museum - Vigan Branch). The museum has a good collection of spanish-era furniture, beds, armoirs, and a little bit of Ifugao relics at the ground floor.

We also got a chance to visit the burnayan, where the famous vigan jars are made. when you enter the compound, you will be surprised by thenumber of jars they have -- jars as far as the eye can see.

We got a chance to see how a clay jar is made, as demosntrated here by one of the burnayan workers. He also showed us the pugon or oven where the jars are baked.

That's me having a sweet moment with one of the clay figures in the burnayan. Mwaah. We also got a chance to visit the Syquia Mansion. A scion of the Syquias married President Elpidio Quirino and one can see his memorabilia at the mansion's ground level. We had a great time touring the huge mansion and managed to steal some snapshots. The photo below is Jhackie at the second floor azotea fountain.

this is the official limousine of President Quirino during his term. It is a black, stretch Chrysler Limousine.

The next day, we headed to Batac to visit the remains of President Marcos. Here I am posing before a manequin of the late dictator.

We decided to proceed to Paoay and Curimao instead of going all the way to Pagudpod. Here is one of the views you will see along the road going to Curimao via Paoay.

While searching for a resort, we managed to enter a Korena-run resort. the resort has a Rolls Royce parked in the executive parking area. wow.

We finally decided to settle for D'Coral Resort in curimao, which was fairly okay especially since there were only a handful of guests at the resort during that time. Poppo rented an airconditioned cottage for the group and we spent the rest of the day swimming in the cool China Sea water.

Before the day was over, we returned to Vigan for our last night of vacation. We took a stroll along Heritage Park and took pictures, and then returned to Hotel for a drinking spree at the roofdeck which the owner generously offered for us to use.

We left Vigan shortly before noon, but not before passing by the market to buy pasalubong. we settled for longanisang Vigan while the others also bought bagnet and chichacorn.

On our way home, we passed by this magnificent view and decided to stop and take pictures. This was taken at a cove a few kilometers after the famous Quirino Bridge. the water looked so cool and tempting.

As a finale, here's a photo fo Mapangurirat in a contemplative mood at the Vigan Heritage Hotel.

You can see more of our Vigan trip pcitures at my multiply account. Visit it at