Byaheng Pa-Norte: Vigan, Ilocos Sur
DESTINATION: Vigan, Ilocos Sur
(NOTE: REPOST from a 2015 trip.)
The idea to visit the World Heritage City actually started as a solo trip – an adventure of sorts to the (so far) the farthest in the north I would have been, taking into consideration the fact that I reside in Northern Mindanao. But as the dates drew near, my family wanted IN too. By the way, my trip was scheduled March 30 to April 1. That’s 3 days and 2 nights in the magical, sepia-toned city. And like they say, the more, the merrier!
Manila to Vigan by Land
Vigan is a 10-hour ride from Manila. Several bus lines serve the route. But those that have daily direct travel are Partas, Dominion Bus, Aniceto Bus and Viron Transit. Of the mentioned, Partas is probably the most known.
Partas Bus is located along Aurora Blvd. in Cubao
Schedule: 1AM, 9:15AM, 1:15PM, 4:15PM, 7PM, 9PM, 11PM
1. 816 Aurora Boulevarsd, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 (2) 7278278
2. Vigan, Bus Terminal Alcantara Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Telephone Numbers: +63 (77) 7222933 +63 (77) 7222935
Manila to Vigan by Air
There used to be commercial flights in Mindoro Airport of Vigan. However, it had to be cancelled due to low traffic.
The nearest airport with regular flights is in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offers flights. Flying time is 1 hour. Another 2 hours travel from Laoag and you’ll find yourself in Vigan.
MY TRAVEL CHOICE
Ilocos CHECK LIST
Explore Calle Crisologo at dawn – (checked)
When the shops are closed and the people sleep, a different kind of stillness wraps over the city. The way the lights bounces off the walls transports you to that part of history you’ve never had the opportunity to live in – well, at least for me and all those in the younger generation.
Funny story actually. I decided to wander around on my own at 4 in the morning. And what do you know? I was wearing my BLACK, breezy dress. No wonder the people I met were looking at me funny! And when I say they were looking at me funny, I meant stares so piercing that I think they were trying to bore a hole through my soul. *chuckles*
Go on an heritage river cruise in Mestizo River
For Php 100/pax, you get to travel through history by boat. Rappler description:
“Cruise-goers literally travel through history by travelling through the river. The boat takes them to various points where life-sized dioramas stand, depicting important events in Vigan’s history. A recorded voice then narrates the story.
The riverbanks are also the perfect exhibit of Vigan’s rich biodiversity. You’ll catch a glimpse of the bigaa plant from which the city supposedly takes its name.”
- Ride a Kalesa – (checked)
1. Bagnet is love! – (checked)
For meat lovers that is. Bagnet is Vigan’s version of chicharon/crispy pata/lechon kawali rolled into one with an accompanying tomato-bagoong-onion dip.2. Vigan longganisa
1. Bagnet is love! – (checked)
For meat lovers that is. Bagnet is Vigan’s version of chicharon/crispy pata/lechon kawali rolled into one with an accompanying tomato-bagoong-onion dip.
This doesn’t even have to be for breakfast. Simply delish, I tell you!
If you want to bring home some, for your friends or even for yourself, Tongson’s sells them by the dozen. Tongson’s is located beside Cafe Leona. Just ask around. *wink*
3. Eat at Cafe Leona – (checked)
The cafe is located near the end of Calle Crisologo near the plaza. Sample their Vigan delicacies!
Just a tip though, if you are planning to eat there for dinner, you might want to reserve seats first. There are times when there are just so many patrons that you might not get a space.
4. Eat Empanada
If you ask the locals, their idea of the best empanada will vary. But if you want crunchy dough, then Evelyn’s stall near Plaza Burgos is for you. However, if you are more of the soft and chewy type, then Irene’s on Calle Salcedo is perfect. If you belong to the “unknowns” yet because you are still not sure of your preference, why not sample both and decide for yourself?
As for me? Hmm… For the five of us, I regret to say we actually didn’t get a chance to sample any of the empanadas. *gasp* Well, it’s not to say that we didn’t want to. It’s just that with all the eating around, there was absolutely no room left in our humongous stomachs. I’m not even surprised if we all gained weight from our short trip there.
5. Satisfy sweet cravings at Leila’s Cafe
Located on Calle Luna, Leila’s Cafe is described as whimsical and quaint. Needless to say that it is highly recommended. Unfortunately though, I for all my sweet tooth did not get to try their famous French toastwiches. Maybe you can take a bite for me?
6. PinaTUBO – (checked)
Tubo as in bamboo. Pinatubo is a rice treat much like suman but is cooked inside a bamboo stick. Unlike the regular suman though, pinatubo is sweet. And yummy!
Go Further! Visit Ilocos Norte! – (checked)
If you’ve got a spare day, why not go further and explore Ilocos Norte as well?
For Php 15/pax (free fee for the driver), you get to see the gigantic windmills up close.
So basically, my itenirary went like this:
Day 1 (March 30, 2015)
– road trip from Manila to Vigan
– arrived in Vigan around 2pm.
– settled in the hotel and wandered around the city
Day 2 (March 31, 2015)
– Vigan to Pagudpud by 5am
– back to Vigan by 5pm
– explore Vigan some more
Day 3 (April 1, 2015)
– bound for Manila by 5am with pit stops on the way
Hmm… Vigan – checked! I wonder where to next.
P.S. If you have recently been to Vigan, or more recently than my trip at least, and you know of any other updates that I have not included, please do tell me. That way, others who may come across this entry will also be updated. Thank you mucho!
P.P.S. All photos here are taken from my phone. So… yeah. You know what I mean.