On our third day in Laoag, we took a trip south to Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur. We only planned to visit Calle Crisologo and Baluarte to save time.
After a quick breakfast at Balay da Blas, we took a trike and left for the Bus Terminal going to Vigan. I forgot the name of the bus but it’s only an ordinary one (non-airconditioned) and the fare was Php100 each. The ride lasted for 2 and 1/2 hours with some short stops picking up passengers by the road.
TIP: If you could spare Php20 more for your fare, I would suggest riding an air-conditioned bus like PARTAS. The seats are more comfy, they don’t stop to wait for passengers, and you don’t have to take in the scent of burning leaves by the roadside every few minutes.
We got off at the Vigan City Hall and asked directions from the traffic cops on how to get to Calle Crisologo. From the city hall, Calle Crisologo is about 3 blocks away so we just traveled there by foot.
First thing we saw is Plaza Burgos which is some sort of mini Rizal Park complete with a little statue of Jose Rizal in the middle. You can also see a lot of calesas for hire parked here. We did not hire one since we don’t plan on seeing the whole of Vigan and the ride is expensive for our budget.
Beside the park is St. Paul’s Cathedral or what is commonly known as Vigan Cathedral. Just like St. William’s Cathedral in Laoag, this church is old but you wouldn’t recognize it since it is regularly maintained giving it a freshly painted look.
Vigan Cathedral with locals included
On one side of Plaza Burgos is the street leading to Calle Crisologo. You could easily see the statue of Leona Florentino, the famous Ilocana poet, satirist and playright during the Spanish Period, in front of the first Max’s Restaurant.
Tourist info center on the left, Cafe Leona on the right
TIP: If you are new to Vigan, you could head straight to the Ilocos Sur Tourist Information center and ask for a brochure as well as directions and other things. It is situated at the start of Crisologo St. besides Cafe Leona.
You can also see the Ilocos Sur Tourist Information center near the statue. We went there first to grab a brochure of Ilocos Sur and ask questions regarding other places to visit and transportation fares as well. The information guy is friendly and very helpful. Besides the information center is Cafe Leona which is a very nice place to eat. They serve huge servings of Filipino and Italian food at a decent price. Make sure to try their iced tea!
Calle Crisologo or Crisologo St. is a 4-block street with cobblestone pavement lined with souvenirs and antique shops. No vehicles are allowed (only calesas) on the street except for the intersections. So if you’re going to take a nice photo of the street, make sure there are no cars, scooters, motorcycles passing through the intersections. We spent a great deal of time here to buy souvenirs for our friends and family.
Afterwards, it’s time to go to Baluarte, the home and mini zoo of Chavit Singson. We took a trike for Php40 after haggling it down from Php60 and it took us around 20 minutes to get there and there’s no entrance fee.
When you first step into Baluarte, you could see ostriches around the lobby and information area. Yup, they’re not fenced! There are also little horses with small carriages on them that you can ride for free to tour you around the place. I won’t be writing about what I saw at the zoo since that will sound like an elementary school paper but one thing’s for sure, the little ponies have huge dongs. Hehehe.
TIP: Do not stay late at Baluarte if you don’t plan on bringing your own vehicle. I don’t think the tricycle drivers waits there all day long.
We finished at around 3pm and luckily there are still lots of tricycles outside Baluarte to take us back to the city. Price is still Php40 but originally the driver’s asking for Php50. Anyway, we asked the driver to drop us off at the PARTAS bus terminal going toback to Laoag.
The bus is air-conditioned and Php20 more expensive but it’s more spacious and the seats are well-cushioned. We arrived at Laoag at around 5 PM and went back to our suite.
- Ordinary Bus from Laoag to Vigan – Php 100
- Tricycle travelling to and from Baluarte – Php 40-50
- Air-conditioned Bus from Vigan to Laoag (PARTAS) – Php 121.00
For dinner, we ate at C&E Pizzeria and tried their Bagnet Pizza. Mmmm. I strongly suggest that you try it yourself. We just packed our things and pasalubongs in the evening for our flight tomorrow noon.
The day after, we arrived at the airport 1 hour before our flight which is 12 noon but found out that it was delayed for 3 hours. Hayyy Cebu Pacific talaga.
This concludes the series of our Ilocos Tour. I hope you find it helpful in planning your trip to Ilocos. It’s a must-visit place here in the Philippines!
If you have any questions/suggestions/corrections, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!
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