Monday, December 11, 2006

vigan city, ilocos sur

12/08/2006 05:30am
woke up really early so that i can prepare all my things before i leave laoag. i am quite excited to see vigan. the bus i took two nights ago made a quite stop at the partas bus terminal in vigan but it was night time so i've never made a better look at the town. i've folded all my clothes, both fresh and dirty, put them inside the bag and separated them by using a simple divider... a plastic bag. i've also prepared to put my gadgets back in its bag. i'm done charging two pairs of nickel metal hydride batteries for my digital camera and the infolithium battery for my camcorder. i've slipped the tripod to its black long case and went down the stairs to drink something warm. it's really not that cold in vigan but it is less humid, so i went in the bathroom and took a quick shower. thiry minutes later, i took the 08:25am partas bus trip from laoag city to vigan.

12/08/2006 11:00am
almost two hours of bus travel, i've finally reached vigan city. i got off kapitolyo and looked for a place to eat breakfast. there are many fast food restaurants in vigan; mcdonald's, chowking, jollibee, red ribbon, greenwich, max's fried chicken, etc. i miss home so bad so i've ordered my favorite meal of all time; C1 (chicken joy meal), peach mango pie, and choco mallow pie. after breakfast, i looked for plaza burgos where mangan tayon will be held.
vigan plaza hotel is just right across the plaza which looked so elegant and grandeur from the outside, so i've thought of checking it. i was greeted by a very courteous, polite, and friendly doorman who i later on gave a commendation. he introduced me to the roomboy and he showed me their standard single room at the third floor. it was a little small but it looks so cozy, clean, and not so haunted. the building looks new, but the facilities look so furnished and very antique. to make the long story short, i took it.

12/08/2006 01:00pm
after a very long warm shower, i went out to look for an internet cafe so i can transfer all my laoag pictures from my camera's memory stick to my ipod. most of my afternoon was spent in the heritage village (calle crisologo), taking pictures of the carriages, the antique wood carvings, and the locals and the tourists. it's been a dream come true that i would come to vigan and take pictures of its beautiful spanish houses. it's like part of me has been to this place.

12/08/2006 04:50pm
i've decided to take a short break from walking and taking photos. a very nice kutsero (kalesa driver) asked me if i would like to experience riding on a kalesa and tour the historical landmarks in vigan. he was actually the 50th kutsero to ask me to ride on a carriage but i guess i was so tired so i've finally ridden. he knows the city by heart and he had explained to me the historical backgrounds of the places very well. he showed me where to find the museums, the churches, historical landmarks, hotels, and others. i went back to the hotel around 05:50pm to take a warm shower and get ready for the main event in the evening.

12/08/2006 06:30pm
i've headed back to plaza burgos to check the mangan tayon. it is a special event for the people of ilocos sur. 50 booths showcasing famous ilocano cuisine will be the main attraction of the event while being serenaded by mr paolo santos, a local acoustic singer. i ate, vigan longganisa, pig's intestine (i didn't know what it was called), and vigan empanada for dinner. the empanada was a little oily and crispy because it was fried. right outside plaza burgos, i've watched a long religious procession, leading the image of their local patron saint back to the catheral; saint paul metropolitan cathedral, also known as the vigan cathedral.

12/08/2006 09:00pm
paolo santos' concert was supposed to start at exactly 06:30pm but for some reason, it was already 09:00pm and the concert hasn't started yet. so i've decided to take a motorbike tour in the entire city of vigan with a newly made friend. he showed me many places i've never seen and been to. he drove me to playa de oro (beach resort), pagburnayan (jar factory), baluarte, several museums, hotels, and churches. the best place of all was the bantay watchtower where you can get the best view of the grand quirino bridge connecting the monstrous mountains of bantay. there were very few lights in that place and the very strong winds were really scaring the heck out of me, but the bright full moon was really beautiful as it made a bright straight striking light on the waters. it was beyond phenomenal.

12/08/2006 11:30pm
it was almost midnight when i got back to the hotel. i was so excited to take pictures of the bright places my new friend had shown me. so i took my equipment and left the building again to take more pictures of the city of vigan. i took more pictures of plaza salcedo, vigan cathedral, the municipal office of vigan, and calle crisologo. i even had the chance to take pictures with paolo santos. yes, paolo santos, the singer. i've let them use my tripod so they can get better pictures at night, but his camera is still new to him so i've offered to take their pictures as souvenirs using my own digital camera and told them that i will just send them to his email.

12/09/2006 02:00am
i was calling the hotel information number because i was so hungry, i thought of ordering something to eat. the hotel personnel told me that the cafeteria was already closed, so they don't do room service 'til 6am. so i left the hotel again in search for food. everything was quiet outside and you don't see that many people on the streets of vigan, although it is not that scary, and i felt calm. all the stores and fast food restaurants were already closed, but i didn't lose hope, so i walked more. i've walked more than 10 blocks away from the hotel before i found franks burger. it was a cheap burger stand and it is just like the burger connection version of manila. the food was crappy but way cheap, so i did not care because my stomach was making noise already. i ate two burgers, and drank a bottle of soda. i've also asked for a footlong and two cans of pepsi to go.

12/09/2006 06:00am
wake up call!!! thanks to the friendly staff of the hotel, they've made two wake up calls that day. i took a hot shower before i went down to the cafeteria near the hotel lobby for my breakfast. i've had vigan tsokolate, vigan longganisa, with garlic rice, and pineapple juice. i still enjoyed my breakfast even if i wasn't that hungry.

12/09/2006 06:30am
went back to my room and get my things ready. i've made a quick stop at the vigan cathedral to take pictures of the church in daylight, same thing with the vigan municipal hall. i rode a tricycle to bantay church where you can also see the belltower. you can climb up the belltower to get a better view of the city of vigan unfortunately, the belltower was closed when i got there. i took a lot of pictures so that didn't hinder me from having fun.

j.r. the kutsero, was very nice to pick me up from bantay church with his kalesa and took me to pagburnayan (jar factory), along liberation boulevard. there i met mr. fidel go, a national treasure of vigan. he was kind enough to let me photograph his work. he showed me how me makes a jar out of a simple clay. i promised him that i will send him a picture of him if he would let me photograph a very good picture of him. he agreed. j.r. showed me more places in vigan. and then i got tired, so i told him to pass by calle crisologo again. i got off his kalesa and asked him if it would be okay if i take his picture with his kalesa. he was very nice so he let me. i knew he felt a little embarrassed but it's actually part of his job.

12/09/2006 10:30am
i took a shower as soon as i've entered my hotel room. then i got my things ready; my bag, my clothes, and my equipment. at exactly 11:55am, i've checked out my room, and stopped by the lobby to leave my things while i go out to take more pictures.

12/09/2006 12:00nn
i went back to the internet cafe to check my email and also to transfer my pictures from my camera to my ipod. i ate adobong baboy and vigan puto for lunch.

12/09/2006 01:00pm
i've started to buy my pasalubong; bags, shirts, mugs, coin purse, tobacco, longganisa, and bibingka (rice cake). i've thought that i refrain from taking pictures and just enjoy the scenery. it took me all afternoon to buy all the pasalubong. i also talked to paolo santos again and i've transferred all their pictures that are on my digital camera to their memory card. i even went to the palengke to buy longganisa. i wasn't able to find small tobaccos because the old women that sell them only come to the palengke in the morning. i would stop by vigan plaza hotel once in a while to drop of my souvenirs.

12/09/2006 06:30pm
had dinner at max's fried chicken. i've ordered fried chicken, lumpiang sariwa, refillable drinks, and buco pandan with ice cream. it was really good, but i was afraid that it would make me puke during travel, but it didn't. left max's fried chicken thirty minutes before eight o'clock to buy a deluxe partas bus ticket to manila.

special thanks to lola celia, rhaymond, edward, gary, ate rose, tita lina, abraham, j.r., and to all those who helped me made this trip possible. maraming salamat po.

3 comments: said...

hi.. I've been there! but I never knew that the heritage village looks so good at night.

I also like photography though I didn't have the chance to be one. I hope to see more pictures from you. keep on blogging. :)

Terri-chan said...

^__^ I love your pictures and your Ilocos trip accounts. I am going to Ilocos tomorrow for the first time, and I know I am spoiling myself for knowing these, but at least I now have an idea on the things I would buy for pasalubong.

And no, it doesn't include Frank's Burger.

gelaikuting said...

Hope to visit Vigan next year... I really want to try pottery :) Thanks for sharing :) Happy travel...