Another favorite among tourist is the place where one of the our UNESCO Heritage Sites can be found- Vigan City. I would like to share with you some insights and tips to help you in your travel preparation to Ilocos Sur, hence the Vigan City Travel Guide.
During this collab, GI (Genuine Ilokacano), Edmar of Edmaration aka #TownExplorer will help me describe Vigan City.
What We Think About Vigan City:
1. Describe Vigan.
Edmar says: Unknown to many, a big part of Vigan is an island – surrounded by great rivers and the West Philippine Sea once used by the Spaniards as portal for trade. Aside from being a world heritage city on which it is known, Vigan is also the Hall of Fame Awardee as the most-child friendly city in the Philippines and a recipient of the United Nations’ elite award of ‘Best Practices in Heritage Conservation’ for 2012 beating many contenders from many countries in the world!
James says: Wheeeew! ^
The old cobblestone street of Crisologo, old heritage houses, calesa and empanada is Vigan for me. It’s a UNESCO Heritage town and a good model of a successful tourism because of heritage conservation.
2. What we like most about Vigan City?
Edmar says: What I like most about the place is it’s cultural heritage. It is not all about the ancestral houses but it is the intangible wealth of the city manifesting in it’s rich culture and traditions like the authentic Calesa Rides which is still in use now (continually) starting some centuries ago. Calesa ride is not scripted (I mean, it was not made for tourists), it is really a normal mode of transportation for the people of Vigan inherited from their ancestors. But now, tourists are the main passengers. And of course, the Vigan food, the most liked thing!
James say: Vigan empanada. *Kidding!* haha I like the calesa ride that goes around tourist spots like the museum and and pottery because its cheapo at Php150/hour (seat 2-3 people). A good travel date idea!
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make Vigan more tourist-friendly.
Edmar says: I think the government of Vigan is doing all their best to make the City the friendliest tourist destination. But I think they need to exert more effort in regulating the trike fares in the city because many trike drivers tend to abuse. Strict enforcement of schedule of fares needs to be prioritized. On the other hand, the city government needs to create more activities in the city and harness all it’s potentials to make the stay of tourists memorable other than walking along the Calle Crisologo. I believe this is already in the process and more activities are coming soon.
James says: You can be Mayor of Vigan, Edmar! *kidding again!*
I wish they will continue conserving and preserving the heritage houses. I believe they can expand the old-feel of the city.
4. Don’t go home without seeing/visiting/experiencing.
Edmar says: Playa de Oro Beach (A Black Sand Beach victimized by black sand miners). See it before it is gone and destroyed!.
James says: I saw that beach ^ and its sad to learn that it is now being mined. For me, don;t go home without doing the “The Calesa Tour.” I videoed my experience when I was there 2011 but I don’t have the time to edit. Its also good to people watch at Calle Crisologo, once I just sat on an old bench and felt the vibe of the tourist walking along the cobbled street, nice ‘touristy’ feeling!
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating ________.
Edmar says: Pinakbet with UTONG, POKI-POKI and Dinengdeng with KABA-TITI. They all sound delicious right?
James says: (
Edmar, please, this blog is wholesome ;p ) Empanada and okoy at near the Plaza. I would go to Vigan just for that.
6. Traveler’s Tip:
- If you want to understand and get immersed with the real culture of Vigan, The best time to travel to Vigan is during the 3rd and last week of January (Longganisa Festival and Kannawidan Festival), April (Semana Santa), First Week of May (Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts: Boklan Arts Festival, Binatbatan Festival, Karbo Festival, etc.), 3rd week of September (Solidarity Day), Halloween (Raniag Festival) and Christmas season (Christmas Celebrations Vigan Style). Well, the ancestral houses, the heritage churches, vintage structures and the museums can stay everyday but these festivals are seasonal. So take note of the dates!
- Do the calesa tour and try doing it on foot too.
- Vigan City has many hidden treasures like the old cemetery and the cheap bagnet at the 2nd floor of the public market.
7. Recommendation Hotel, Inn?
James says: I stayed at Granpa’s Inn the last time I was there. It’s a museum in itself and I love it. If I remember it right, the cheapest room is Php1,000 (good for 2persons).
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Thanks Edmar for collaborating with JourneyingJames for this Vigan City post.
You can check Edmar’s blog- Edmaration; connect with him on Facebook- /Edmaration; and follow her on Twitter: @edmaration
You can read my past articles about Vigan City below:
If you want to join the Travel Bloggers Collab, please do email me at journeyingjames(AT)gmail(DOT)com together with the place you want to talk about. I want to learn from you and see from your perspective. 🙂
How to get to Vigan City?
There are at least 50 buses that goes to Vigan from Cubao Bus Terminal and Pasay Terminal.
Don’t want to waste time on the road? Book a plane ticket! Cebu Pacific flies daily to Laoag City (Capital of Ilocos Norte) from Manila. From Laoag, you can take a bus to Vigan (2 hours travel time).
For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebupacificair.com or call (02)7020-888. The latest seat sales and promos can be found on Cebu Pacific Air’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages (/cebupacificair).