It is a World Heritage Sitein that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines where its structures remained intact, and is well known for its cobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. Because of this, According to a report of Editorial Insider, Vigan City was officially recognized as one of theNew7Wonders Cities together with Beirut, Doha,Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and La Paz. ~Wikipedia
WHERE: Province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines
HOW TO GET THERE:
Manila to Vigan by Land
Vigan is an 8-9 hour travel from Manila. Take a bus from Cubao or Pasay from Metro Manila. Partas and Florida Bus are two of your options. The trip will pass through NLEX (North Luzon Expy) and the roads going north via provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union.
Manila to Vigan by Air
The nearest airport with regular commercial flight is Laoag in Ilocos Norte. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer flights daily routing Manila-Laoag and vv. Vigan is just a 2-hour bus ride from Laoag City.
Clark to Vigan by Land
For those who are coming from Clark, you can go straight to Dau Bus Terminal via shuttle or jeepney. There are buses passing by the terminal from Manila going to Vigan.
WHAT TO EXPECT: A live experience and a “throwback” of the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines.
WHERE TO GO AND STAY: When I visited the city twice last 2012 and 2013 with friends, we did it as side-trip to Ilocos Norte. I haven’t got a chance to stay long in here. You can check Lakwatsero.com‘s list of inns and restaurants you can consider in staying at Vigan. Besides the main attraction of the city, you can also some familiar places just nearby the heritage village such as Baluarte and Bantay Church and bell tower.
WHAT TO DO:
- Walk along the cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo in the heart of the heritage village.
- Visit Plaza Salcedo, Plaza Burgos and the Vigan Cathedral just located near the center of the city.
- Take a ride with one of the kalesa.
- Watch the dancing lights of Plaza Salcedo at night.
- Visit Crisologo Museum and others just near the heritage village.
WHERE TO EAT: There are a lot of food choices in Vigan. You can try a decent dine-in at Cafe Leona or try Vigan’s streetfood where some food stalls standing near the plazas are selling their famous empanada, and others such as dinengdeng, poqui-poqui and Vigan longganisa. There are also some foodchains around the area.
- P500++ bus fare from Manila to Vigan.
- P150/hour for a kalesa tour within the city.
- Donations when you visit Crisologo Museum.
**prices are subject for changes.
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS:
- Longganisa Festival – The Bigueños celebrate Longganisa Festival every January 22 in accordance to the cityhood of Vigan. With a colorful street dancing competition along the Calle Crisologo, this festival features one of city’s products, the very well-known Vigan Longganisa. On the 25th, Vigan celebrates its town fiesta in honor to its patron saint, Saint Paul.
TIPS AND CHECKLISTS:
- Best time to visit is during dry season from December to May.
- There are ATMs in the town and credit cards are accepted in major establishments.
- Cellular signals are available for major networks.
- Souvenirs are sold in the town.
- Bring your own chargers/powerbanks for your gadgets.
- Go north and explore Ilocos Norte.
Juan Dela Cruz | @morefunwithjuan