Vigan in 8 hours

What could you possibly do within eight (8) hours in Vigan?

Needless to say, you need more, right?  What if you are just there as a transient before you need to go to another destination? Say further up North, or if you had an official business next town, and say, have some hours to spend before the official business?  We had a scheduled presentation 1 PM and we arrived the night before, so we had some time to spare.  If you are in the same situation, you might as well, spend the free time to explore more about the culture and heritage of Vigan--without exerting too much effort on it.

Okay, so here it is.

We arrived around 8PM from Manila before the day of the scheduled conference, that makes us more rested and relaxed for the next day's activity.

8:30 PM 
At around 8:30 PM we were already billeted at Grandpa's Inn located in Bonifacio cor. Quirino Boulevard. By then I have already taken some photos of the Inn and proceeded to Uno Grill right across Grandpa's Inn for our late dinner.  This is where we had the famous poqui-poqui and bagnet!

Vigan in 8 hours

10:00 PM
After our dinner, we decided to walk along the famous Crisologo St., which is just two blocks away.  Here we did some "touristy" shots, (Smile!), while I attempted, even only with my handy portable miniature tripod, to get some postcard shots of the famed Calle Crisologo.  Contented with our smiles and poses, we proceeded to Plaza Burgos to look for the famous Vigan empanada, but we learned the stores in the plaza were already closed, so we had no choice but just walked around the Plaza Salcedo in front of the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral.  I wanted to do some night photography but I was limited with my wobbly tripod, so I abandoned the plan.  Again, I had to be contended being the official photographer of my colleagues.

Vigan in 8 hours

Vigan in 8 hours

11:30 PM
We made our way back to the hotel to rest after a long day of travel.  But we were not yet contented with our tourist photos that we found the Grandpa's Inn's interiors so inviting and irresistible, so we took photos of ourselves--again! You see, you do not have to waste precious moments like these!

Vigan in 8 hours

6:30 AM
We had our breakfast at Kusina Felicitas.  Of course, Vigan longaniza should not be missed!  Sorry, but I was not able to take photos.

7:30 AM
I was already out in the streets taking photos.  We agreed we will leave around by 8:00 AM.  But it turned out, we left the hotel at 8:30.  The ladies seemed to have more penchant on buying pasalubong at Grandpa's Inn Souvenir and Gift Shop than roaming the streets. I could have roamed around more to photograph the cathedral. Be that as it may, it was a rewarding short street photography I had.

Vigan in 8 hours

After that, we went on to explore more of Vigan.

First was the Bantay Church Bell Tower and the Shrine of Nuestra Senora de la Caridad.  I only took some photos of the Bell Tower.  I only regret now that did not even attempt to get closer.

Vigan in 8 hours

For the church, it so happened that there was a funeral mass going on so it did not augur well for a photo shoot, so I just had to make do with exterior shots of the church.

Vigan in 8 hours

My companions seemed more interested in Pagburnayan.  Well, in fact, there's nothing much to see in Bantay bell tower, anyway. It seems I was the only one who was interested in the architectural details. So I just went with the flow.  I thought it is easy to go to Vigan and get more details if time and resources would allow.

In fact, I am also very much interested in pagburnayan as I wanted to capture a potter in action. Truth to tell, I think I was the one they waited for this time because I had to make sure I have clear shots of the potter.  It was a very challenging and daunting task to shoot in low lighting conditions given the fact that I only had standard lenses and without a tripod at that.  I was glad I succeed in some shots and even called it a day.

The potter

Vigan in 8 hours

I thought we would have more time to roam around the city streets, but then I realized the ladies were not contented with what they bought in RG's pottery shop. We moved to another pottery shop across the street, where some curio and souvenir shops are also located.  There I bought some for me, too.  I have a penchant for shirts, so I bought one for me.

Next itinerary would be the Vigan Public Market.  I did not go inside this time.  I only asked the ladies to buy bagnet for me--three (3) kilos of it! That is how "healthy-conscious" I am! (LOL!).  It took them a bit long.  It was almost noontime and it was sweltering hot! Nonetheless, this also allowed me to ask about the schedule of trips to Baguio, which was my next destination that night after our official business in Currimao.

Had there been more time, I could have dropped by Bassit Cemetery, where Simbaan a Bassit (literally translated as "old small church") is located.  From the car, I saw that it would have been a beautiful photography subject.  So if you have time, make sure you include this in your itinerary.

11:00 AM
A bit past 11 AM, we were back to the hotel and get dressed for the meeting at 1PM.

11:30 AM
We had lunch at Cafe Uno...again our usual fare of bagnet, but this time with ginisang mongo.  by 12:00 NN, we were heading to Currimao Playa Hotel for the presentation in a conference.

So there!  In 8 hours (actually, around 5 hours of exploring, less sleeping time, and dressing up and eating), you can do a lot in Vigan.  If you are not a pasalubong shop-a-holic, you can do a lot more to explore its culture and heritage. Ours was not a planned itinerary and with no time frames allotted for each activity.

More than just an exploration of sorts, visiting Vigan brings me back to my Ilocano roots--which makes me more appreciate my forefathers and appreciate more of who I am and where I come from. Definitely, eight (8) hours was not enough.  I will make it a point for me to return and appreciate more about my own culture and heritage.
For more photos, visit Vigan in 8 hours in Flickr

Also, Vigan City is nominated in has been chosen as one of the New7Wonders - Cities! Thanks for Voting! Please Vote for Vigan and the Philippine Cities.

Here is the walking tour guide:

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Journeys and Travels said...

Ding, I have never been to Ilocos all my life which makes me more itchy to go there everytime may nababasa ako sa mga posts ng PTB about it. I love your night shoots of the oldest street of Crisologo. I love the pottery and that bellfry, maganga kuha. I agree with u na sana lumapit ka dun ang had a nice one too.

I hope to see you on the road Ding.

Aleah | said...

Andami nyo namang nagawa in 8 hours! Talagang super maximized. Calle Crisologo lang ata napuntahan ko dun. And oh yeah, yung plaza where they sell empanada. Shucks miss it so much!

Pinoy Adventurista said...

8 hours lang 'to? grabe ang dami nyo napuntahan ah... i remember when we went there, we only have the whole afternoon at Calle Crisologo lang ang napuntahan namin... hehehe!!!

thanks for sharing this Ding! i will refer to this pag bumalik ako ng Vigan... ^_^

Edmar Guquib said...

Wow naman and 8 hours niyo, sulit! And napansin ko marami talaga ang nag-popost about Grandpa's Inn at at Cafe Uno. hehe..

And thanks for joining the campaign for Vigan in the New7wonders cities!! Sharing this post on my timeline and on my page!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Action packed 8 hours! I reckon Vigan's usually done for 3 days 2 nights minimum. You guys did an awesome job in making the most out of your available time.

killerfillers said...

We went to Vigan last saturday almost same lang yung mga napuntahan natin. Buti hindi mo pinuntahan ung Hidden Garden, sobrang naubos ung time namin don.

Admin/Author said...

@killerfiller, yeah hindi na kaya ng time namin ang Hidden garden. I hope I can come back again to Vigan para mapuntahan yung iba pa...

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

ganda ng kuha mo sa pottery! ilang beses din ako nag attempt ng magandang kuha dun, kaso laging fail :P

Budget Biyahera said...

HI DING! :) Happy to know that you also love Kusina Felicitas! The best talaga ang food nila.. and thanks for visiting my other blog Sinigang Junkie. :) and.. onga pala, galing mo at ang dami niyo nagawa in 8 hours.. ako nga 1 day in Vigan wasn't enough for us.. miss the place already. :)

Admin/Author said...

Hi Mai! given the chance, I would like to go back to Vigan and really explore this beautiful city!

adventurousfeet said...

lovely pictures! i miss the place already! :)