Thursday, March 8, 2012

Roadtrip to Ilocos: Vigan, Heritage City of the North

The skies of that December night haughtily displayed his eloquence. The moon and stars collaborated too; they sneak-out of their concealment to compliment "Companion Sky" in accompanying the weary travelers on lonely midnight flight.

We steered our way safely from the province of La Union passing through the coastal towns and cities of Agoo, Caba, Bauang, San Fernando, San Juan, Bacnotan, Luna, Bangar & Sudipen towards Tagudin, the first municipality of Ilocos Sur. We only need to negotiate the towns of Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Candon City, Santiago, San Esteban, Sta. Maria, Narvacan, and Santa before calling it the day. We will be spending the rest of the day in Vigan City.

We arrived in Vigan City at 3:15 in the morning. We have covered a total of 340 kilometer (211 miles) distance from Pasig City. We drive towards Vigan Heritage Village in search of a modest hotel. The famous cobblestone street of the heritage village was an impressive sight. The faint amber street lamps supplemented the old-fashioned charisma of her nature.

Vigan Heritage Village

Vigan is definitely one of Philippines' most beautiful cities, as it showcases the Spanish heritage of the country. It is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since December 1999 because of  it's unique Spanish colonial history in Asia and the well preserved Spanish monumental buildings which where build in the 18th century.

The famous cobblestone street of Vigan Heritage Village

Plaza Burgos - one of the two famous plazas of Vigan

We could not resist to take a midnight walk through the cobblestone street. It was one quiet bonding moments when we stop and sit in one of the wooden chairs and benches in front of the heritage houses. From there we watch the stars and sky framed by Vigan roofs.

Calle Crisologo is the main attraction for visitors who are lured by the charm of the bygone Spanish period that can still be experienced through the city’s surviving heritage architecture. It is no surprise that the most sought after accommodations are those along or nearest Calle Crisologo. However, they also command higher prices.

We managed to secure a quadruple-sharing room in Cordillera Family Inn. This inn is along Florentino Street right across Padre Burgos Plaza. The room is clean and simple, a night’s stay is complimented with choices of Filipino breakfast like Longganisang Vigan (Vigan Sausage), Tapa (Fried Marinated Beef) or Daing Na Bangus (Fried Marinated Milkfish). Our room also have cable television and hot and cold water.

The Cordillera Inn along Calle Crisologo

The ingenious design of the wash basin

One of the many lovely religious icons on display

Complimentary breakfast of Beef Tapa & Fried Egg

Our usual morning huddle after the previous night's drive

Waiting for our breakfast to be served

Enjoying our hearty meal

Olga, with the kids

My three lovely grandchildren, JD, Dominique, & Beatriz

Beatriz & Dominique sits at traditional furnishings

Sweety & Me

Lobby of Cordillera Family Inn

Vigan’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site is due to the preservation of around 187 residential, institutional, commercial and religious structures that transport visitors to the past. What is amazing about these structures is that they continue to be used by current locals as they were used by former owners who lived in the 18th century. Their structural endurance and relevance to everyday use until this modern day is testament to the genius and high-level of craftsmanship in the creation of these architectural treasures.

Vigan houses are noteworthy. The Biguenos made use of terracotta and decorative friezes and partitions to show their artistry and add beauty to each function of the house’s architectural detail. This mixing of technology of the east and west, function and beauty, has given Vigan houses its unique style of architecture.

Check out this one.....

"Excuse me Mr. Santa, be careful with my presents.... watch your step....."

Cordillera Family Inn is located along Florentino St. (right infront of Plaza P. Burgos), Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Cordillera Inn is located along Crisologo Street, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

All pictures in this post is the exclusive property of White Dog Leader, Red 1 Leader & Associates, All Rights Reserved. 2012

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