Day 1 of our Ilocos Tour started super early! We arrived at Bantay, Ilocos Sur around 6:45 am, this was our bus stop because Farinas does not go in Vigan City. It’s okay because the tricycle ride to go in Vigan is not that expensive.
We hopped on two tricycles – one for me and E, the other for Chinee and Palos. I instructed the driver to drop us at Villa Angela where we will be staying for the night. I immediately talked to one of the ate’s there to ask if we can check in early, unfortunately the guest was still there but we can go back a little before lunch. The ate was kind enough to let us leave our bags at their office while we go around Vigan.
Our first stop was to have breakfast, since it was around 7 – 7:30 am when we left Villa Angela. Along the way we were able to walk around Calle Crisologo and Vigan Cathedral and take some photos.
We eventually decided to have lunch at Chowking – since no other stores were open. What’s funny was when we were having breakfast Binay, Singson, and Honasan was walking around Vigan City – hello 2013 elections! They even stopped by Chowking because some of the ate’s were calling them.
After our hefty breakfast at Chowking we went to Baluarte ni Chavit – you have two options: take a tryke (P80) or a kalesa (P150) from Vigan City. We opted to take the tryke.
You don’t have to worry about spending too much in Baluarte, because everything is for free (except the photo with the Tiger – P100 good for 4 people, and of course drinks + souvenirs). Baluarte is so big, literally. I think it’s bigger than a zoo and what’s nice is that some of the animals are allowed to roam around freely. My suggestion is that you go here early – to avoid the heat and the other tourists.
We spent a good 3-4 hours there because I insisted that we stay to watch the animal show and have our photo taken with the Tiger. Good decision because we were active crowd participants!
After our tour around Baluarte we went back to Villa Angela to check in and rest. For those who are interested in checking in at Villa Angela, you can check their website. I chose the Cuarte de los Hijos for us. We paid P2800 for this room and it was worth it! It had 3 beds and even our own veranda! The thing is, you can fit around 7-8 people in the room! We also had access to the beautiful common area – we even played sungka!
After an hour or two we headed out for lunch. We had lunch at Tummy Talk in Calle Crisologo – it was okay. I just got pissed off because they didn’t get our orders right. Oh well. After our brief lunch we went around Calle Crisologo to buy souvenirs. E and I bought Vigan Shirts, Kornik, key chains (since he bought 10 key chains I asked the kuya if I can have a free item and he gladly gave me a free coin purse!), and Vigan Suka (E loved their Suka – it was spicy daw kasi!). After that we went back to Villa Angela to rest – I told them that it’s best if we shopped for our souvenirs early and leave it at the hotel rather than exploring the city carrying heavy plastic bags.
We explored the city and we even took a Kalesa Ride as well (P150) to go to the Bell Tower and the other places in Vigan.
After that, we headed to Calle Crisologo to have dinner, and after which we went to Plaza Salcedo – to buy Empanada and Okoy. Great thing was, remember Binay, Singson, and Honasan was walking around Vigan, they had this short water musical + fireworks show (talk about great timing!). So after we bought our empanadas and okoys we watched the show. After the show, we walked around Vigan in search of some booze. The boys had empi and we had Tanduay Ice – empanada + okoy as our pulutan. And that ends our first day in Vigan!
Links to Ilocos Tour blogs: