The City of Vigan is the capital of Ilocos Sur. It was given the title of Heritage City of Vigan, by the UNESCO for preserving not only hundreds of colonial houses but also the culture and values of the Ilocano people. It is also listed as one of The World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. The City of Vigan was also known as Villa Fernandina, as a tribute to Prince Ferdinand of Spain.
Heritage City Of Vigan
How to go to Vigan
Vigan is just one bus ride away from Metro Manila. Most popular bus lines plying the Metro Manila to Vigan/ Laoag are Partas, Florida, Autobus, and Farinas Liner. It would take you around 8 to 10 hours to get there. Bus fare to Vigan from Cubao is around 450 to 700, depending of what type of bus and bus company you choose. You can board ordanary buses, aircon buses and de luxe bus with lazy boy seats or even a bus with a built in CR.
The most convenient and comfortable way to reach Vigan is by getting a ride in the De luxe bus of Partas in EDSA Pasay that leaves at 9 PM. This Partas De luxe bus is air-conditioned and has comfortable and reclining chairs that look like Lazy Boys. You can just take a good night sleep while journeying and you’ll arrive in Vigan at around 5 in the morning, about time to participate on the morning Mass in the Vigan Cathedral. Partas buses are one of the few buses that can enter Vigan.Floridaand Farinas Liner drops their Vigan bound passengers in the nearby town ofBantay, Ilocos Sur.
Contact number for Partas terminal in Edsa Pasay is 8514025.
Aside from the Partas terminal in Edsa Pasay, Partas also has a terminal in Cubao. Farinas Liner has its bus terminal in Lacson in Samplaoc while Florida Bus Lines has a terminal along EDSA Cubao, just beside the Baliwag Transit bus terminal. Some air-conditioned Florida buses also have comfort rooms inside the bus.
Popular Vigan Tourist Spots
The City of Vigan is easy to navigate. Tourist can walk around town and go to different tourist attractions in Vigan such as the cobble tiled street of Calle Crisologo with its antique houses, Vigan Cathedral, Vigan Public Market, and the Burgos Museum.
For those who want to stay out of the burning Ilocos sun, you could ride a tricycle from one point to another. Another way to enjoy your tour of Vigan is to ride a horse drawn carriage called the Kalesa. Most Kalesa drivers are expert tour guides and for a fee, they can take you to most of the tourist spots in the city. You can find many tour guides and their Kalesa parked beside Vigan Cathedral.
Top tourist attractions in Vigan are:
- Calle Crisologo
This street, made of cobble stones, is the most popular tourist attraction in Vigan. Along Calle Crisologo are dozens of ancestral house that are still in good condition. Most of the houses in the street are not occupied anymore and are now converted to museums or stores selling Vigan souvenirs such as religious antiques and Abel Iloko. No cars are allowed inside Calle Crisologo.
Kalesa in Calle Crisologo
- Vigan Cathedral
The Vigan Cathedral or St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. It houses a replica of the miraculous Santo Cristo Milagroso. The church has an earth quake baroque style of architecture and was built in 1790. Beside the Vigan Cathedral is the Archbishop’s Residence.
- Plaza Burgos
Plaza Burgo sis named after the martyr priest Padre Jose Burgos of the GOMBURZA. The plaza is located at the side of Vigan Cathedral. PlazaBurgosis popular with tourist for one could buy lots of Ilocano foods such as Vigan empana, okoy, miki and sinanglaw in stores located around the park.
- Plaza Salacedo
Plaza Salacedo is the park in front of Vigan Cathedral. It is dedicated to Juan de Salcedo. You can find lots of water fountains and miniature copies of famous landmarks around the world inside the plaza.
- Padre Burgos Residence and Museum
Right after Plaza Salcedo is the ancestral house of Padre Burgos. It is also known as theAyalaMuseumin Vigan.
- Crisologo Museum
Crisologo Museum is one of the most popular museums in the city.
- Baluarte Zoo
The Baluarte Zoo is a mini zoo owned by Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson. Entrance is free and tourist could see rare animals like tigers, lions, white deers, camels and exotic birds.
Baluarte in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
- Hidden Garden of Vigan
The Hidden Garden of Vigan is located in Barrio Bulala. You can reach it via tricycle or Kalesa. It is an area with lots of trees and bamboo groves. You can rest here for a while and grab a quick snack in a snack bar located in the center of the Garden.
- Burnay factory
Local earthen wares in Vigan are called burnay. You can go on inside many of the burnay factories located in Pagburnayan, and learn how to make pots and jars from the masters.
- Bantay Church and Bell Tower
Bantay Church and Bell Tower or St Agustine Church is near Vigan Cathedral. What’s amazing about this church is its bell tower. Unlike most churches in thePhilippines, theBelltower in Bantay is not attached to the church building. It is constructed on top of a hill, besideBantayChurch. The word Bantay means “to Watch”, where the town of Bantay was made as a watch and guard of Vigan against foreign invaders and pirates from the past.
Bantay Church Bell Tower
Popular Ilocano Foods and Pasalubong
If you want to have a taste of authentic Ilocano foods, you only need to go to Plaza Burgos. Here you can find lots of stores selling Vigan empanada, miki and royal bibingka.
Vigan Empanada– Crispy deep fried orange-colored turn overs with lots of longanisa, cabbage and a whole egg for filling. Best serve with sukang Iloko.
Okoy– deep fried shrimp patties
Miki– soup made of flat noodles and pork and beef strips
Royal Bibingka– native rice cakes. Popular Royal bibingka brands are Tongson’s Bibingka and Marshia’s Royal Bibingka.
Sinanglaw ( sinanglao)– soup made with beef and beef innards. It is best served with sukang iloko and a dash of papait ( gall juices) for a more bitter taste just like in Papaitan.
Other famous Ilocano foods and pasalubong are Bagnet, Chichacorn, Vigan Longanisa, and Tinumbong. Basi or native wine made from sugar cane is also a popular Vigan pasalubong.
Vigan Hotels and Places to Stay
Staying in Vigan is not a problem. There are a lot of cheap Vigan hotels to choose from. Many old houses are converted to hotels. Many modern hotels are also constructed to serve the ever growing number of tourists in the Heritage City of Vigan. Below is a list of some of the popular Vigan hotels and contact numbers.
- Grandpa’s Inn
Grandpa’s Innis located in Bonifacio street. It is one of the most popular hotels in the city specially for travel bloggers, backpackers and budget travellers. This hotel also has it’s own restaurant in the ground floor. You can contact them through phone (6377)722-2118 or email them at email@example.com.
- Gordion Hotel
Gordion hotel is another ancestral house turned hotel. It is located in V.delos Reyes Street, just a few blocks from the heart of the city. For reservations, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vigan Plaza Hotel
Vigan Plaza Hotel is located beside Plaza Burgos. It is a combination of old world accommodations with modern facilities. For more information on Vigan Plaza Hotel, contact them through their landline number +63 77 7221527 .
- Cordillera Inn
Cordillera Inn also is made from old ancestral house. It is located inside Calle Crisologo. For more details about Cordillera Hotel, contact them at (077)-722-2727
- El Juliana Hotel
El Juliana Hotel is a favorite of families and large groups, for around 500 pesos, they can give you an air conditioned room good for 3 persons. They also have a swimming pool inside the property. El Juliana is at Liberation Blvd. Cor Quirino Blvd. with contact numbers of (077)-722-2994 or 09123508350.
This is a favorite Vigan hotel because the rates are affordable.
- Vigan Hotel
One of the most popular hotels in Vigan is Vigan Hotel. Vigan Hotel is located in Burgos Street, with telephone number (077)-722-2588.
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