19 April 2011

Vigan - A Spanish Colonial Influence

I visited Vigan in 2006. It is located in the northern part of the Philippines. It was around 6 - 7 hours bus ride from Manila. On our way there we took the Farinas bus (their buses have toilets) and we took the Partas bus back to Manila. The following were the things we did during our stay.
Calesa Ride

Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects exceptionally intact preservation of history.

First, find somebody who knows the places to visit in Vigan. There is no better way but to take a calesa ride which is relaxing and environment friendly :) Before the trip, it is better to negotiate the cost of the tour.

Baluarte. It was the first stop we did during the tour in a calesa. Baluarte is owned by Chavit Singson, a well known political figure in the Philippines. The place is like a mini zoo. The good things is visitors can interact with the animals provided the professional trainers are there. The best thing is admission is FREE!

my jar making experience
Pagburnayan (jar making factory). The next stop was in a village where their livelihood was jar making. The owner showed us how pots are made. I even had the chance to try it. It was not as easy as it looked specially everything is manual. The owner also toured us around to see how they are made ready for the market. Again, this activity was free. As a sign of our gratitude, we bought a couple of souvenirs from them.

Inside the Church
Vigan Cathedral. Another visit was in the church in the center of the city. The Archbishop Palace and Museum was beside the church which we went to see Spanish era artifacts. 

Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangire
Burgos Museum.  The museum was named after one of the 3 martyr priests in Philippine history,  Father Burgos. The museum was like an old Spanish house. The curator was kind enough to let us hold and see Jose Rizal's (Philippine National Hero) copy of Noli Me Tangire. The handwriting of Dr. Jose Rizal was really nice. I remember that he put a line if he made mistakes in writing. Good thing nowadays we have correction fluids to take care of that.

Heritage Village

Heritage Village by Night

View from our hotel
   Heritage Village. Our hotel was located in the Heritage Village so we got to enjoy the place during the day and night. Vehicles are not allowed in the area so it's basically quiet. The place features Spanish inspired architecture with the cobblestone streets.

Empanada Stand

 Empanada. Food is one thing that I look forward to every trip. Empanada is a stuffed bread that is fried . Vigan has the BEST. 

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