I was not supposed to be in Vigan one stormy Sunday night this month. Commuting by bus to the Ilocos region from Metro Manila was fine when I did it. However, I couldn't bear the feeling of doing it again after roaming around the Ilocos Norte municipalities of Burgos and Pagudpud in the same day. I had to see something insightful one more time.
My overnight accommodation in Vigan was forgettable but it was not the hotel's fault. I was low on budget and it was all I could afford. Besides, after not being able to sleep the night before in Pagudpud, a simple bed was all I needed that night, especially after being drenched in rainwater outside.
It was drizzling upon my arrival in Vigan's heritage village. The scene was electrifying because the local and foreign tourists were unfazed by the wet ground and constant rain pour. They still filled the streets with their smiles, strolling, picture-taking and shopping.
The Poor and Wet Hunchack of Vigan
My sneakers gave up on me. The sole of my right shoe literally gave way. I was lucky I still had my trusty Tribu slippers. I still managed to buy an Ilokano-inspired shirt and why shouldn't I? I had nothing else to wear the next day. I missed taking dinner on time that night because the bus I rode in from Burgos, Ilocos Norte, was hired along the way by a market vendor who half-stuffed all her goods inside the bus and she had the driver go on epic stopovers. It was the worst provincial ride I ever had compared to the tricycle driver guide of Pagudpud (all drivers there are informed to always be on their toes for Metro Manila tourists because they know that those folks need to go back where they came from soon). I was also starting to feel the weight of my heavy backpack. If there was one poor, hungry, hunchback of Vigan that night, it was definitely me.
|A blessed Monday morning in Vigan|
The Sunny Morning After
The morning after was a different scene. The sun was shining well and all the tourists disappeared. Like when I recently stayed in Currimao and Pagudpud, people were nowhere in sight. I took this as another opportunity to really absorb my surrounding. And I did appreciate looking at the Spanish era ancestral houses that are now retail shops with interesting looking facades. The cobblestone streets were charming up close as they were in photos and online.
I managed to take a stroll while taking photos and completely cover the UNESCO World Heritage Site in an hour which is similar to covering the grounds of SM Mall of Asia but less vulnerable to impulse buying. At the heritage village, the vulnerability could be one's excitement to taking a photo of every adobe, brick or post that continue to form the village.
If you wish to book an affordable accommodation within the vicinity of the Vigan Heritage Village, you can find affordable hotels by simply walking along the street. If the structure is not a souvenir shop or restaurant, it's most probably a hotel. The cheapest room rate when I was there was at P1,500 with free breakfast.
If you're arriving from Metro Manila, it's best to brave the 10-11 grueling bus ride hours by taking the Partas Deluxe bus which normally costs P200 more than the basic air conditioned version but better for long-haul trips.
When going home to Metro Manila., the same Deluxe Bus usually drops by the Partas Vigan terminal at 12:00pm from Laoag City so better be there before 12:00pm since hotel check out is usually that time. Fare: between P700 and P800.
One of New 7 Wonder Cities
The Ilocos Sur capital of Vigan has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders cities (2014). The other cities include Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur and La Paz.
Check out my full 5-Day Ilocos Region Vacation
Hey! I also visited other Ilocos Region destinations. Read more how I roamed around that part of the Northern Philippines:
+ Currimao's Playa Tropical + Vigan Heritage Village
+ Paoay Church + Pagudpud's Pannzian Resort
+ Kapurpurawan Rock Formation + Pagudpud's Cold Spring Trek
+ Laoag City Walk + Swimming in Currimao
+ My Ilocos Norte Meals + Bangui Windfarm
+ Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
More Photos Below:
|The junction for man, horse, and tricycle|
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