June 6, 2013

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Calle Crisologo


  When we set foot in Vigan, it seems we were brought in a different time zone looking at those old buildings and structures that are reminiscent of the Spanish era way back centuries ago when life back then was so laid back, adding to the scene are the old mode of transportation during their time which is called "Kalesa", a carriage with a horse. 



Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Kalesa
     The whole scene has a relaxing effect because I haven't seen any traffic and rushing people from different direction.  It was still morning when we arrived there were already tourists like us roaming around the plaza, walking along the old cobbled stones of Calle Crisologo and how amazing it is that the street were walking on has been preserved.  Along the stretch of Calle Crisologo have almost the same height structure, some new buildings have followed the same design with wide sliding windows made of wood framed Capiz shells.


Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage


     One of the many assets of the people in Vigan is their craftsmanship in woodworking, and some of the fine furniture sold in the market comes from Vigan and those that are made of Narra.  I saw this antique shop and I admired these nice furniture pieces displayed outside the store.                                                                       
                                         
Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Antique furniture
     Walking around made us hungry and we tried to search for an establishment where we can settle for a while and have our breakfast.  There are familiar restaurant along Calle Crisologo, like Max's restaurant which themed also like Spanish house.
Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Max's Restaurant, Vigan branch

     Across Max's is Tongson's Royal Bibingka store, bibingka is a round pudding rice cake, Vigan's bibingka is smaller than regular sized bibingka at around 3 inches diameter in size and also tastes different from regular bibingka you buy usually during the Christmas holidays that has desiccated coconut, theirs is different because they don't put coconut on top, they use grated cheese instead.  I swear it's so delicious!! The one box of one dozen inside did not last for two hours when we arrived home and gave it for "pasalubong".

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Tongson's Royal Bibingka Store

   We're supposed to dine at Cafe Leona which is also known here in the Vigan plaza with reputable owner Leona Florentino, the first Filipino lady poet known to gain international accolades.  We're just unfortunate that time because this store is not open until 9:00 a.m. 

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Cafe Leona
     We really need to replenish our energy from the morning walk so moved on to another restaurant and we have come across this restaurant in Bonifacio Street corner of Quirino Boulevard just within the plaza which is called Grandpa's Inn and restaurant.  The reception is cozy with antique furnishings since we are not staying at this inn we were led straight to their restaurant.  The ambiance likewise depicts the old houses of wealthy Filipino during the Spanish era, which is made of bricks and stones, the wall is accentuated with pictures of Vigan and the dining furniture is made of solid Narra with intricate heavy carvings.
   
Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Grandpa's Inn
     It was so enjoyable eating and at the same time looking around those nice things around as we gobbled our first taste of Vigan's delectable and notable food in this region, paired with fried rice the perfect duo - Ilocos longaniza and crispy Bagnet dipped in shrimp paste with diced tomatoes and onions.  Hmm... Oh so yummy!  

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage
Calle Crisologo at night

     After our satisfying breakfast we left Vigan plaza and headed to our next destination in Paoay, Ilocos Norte we came back in Vigan on our third day tour as our last itinerary to buy souvenirs and also we bought Bagnet and longanisa so it won't spoil when we go back home. 

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage

  The plaza is illuminated with red lights which makes the whole stretch of the street glimmer that has a nice effect on the old houses and pavement.


Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage



Businesses are still open at night, and it's much better walking around because the atmosphere is cold and some restaurants are alive at night they take out their tables and chairs for customers who wants to enjoy the nightlife.


Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage


The children, however, enjoyed their 30 minutes Calesa ride around the plaza.  

Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage

   
  Right before we said goodbye to Vigan and bid farewell to our final destination, we visited the Vigan Cathedral and thanked God for this wonderful journey.

                   Vigan Ilocos Sur: An aura of cultural heritage


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