Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ay-ayatenka ILOCOS

This has been my second time to visit Ilocos. The first was 2 years ago with my office mates but this year I'm with my closest friends at work. Though some of them are working in different companies good memories are always there to keep. It feels good remembering crazy antics together, sharing ear breaking laughter and keeping each other on the loop. Hope to see  the others on our next get together.


We left the office (pick-up point) almost 12 midnight. It will be long 8-hour ride going to Vigan (Ilocos Sur's capital). It was somehow a comfortable ride because the van is good for 12 pax and we're just 8 inside (excluding the driver ^^). We had stop overs in between (CR break, food break etc.) until we finally arrived in Cafe Uno where we met our guide (sorry forget her name). We had our breakfast at Grandpa's Inn and Restaurant. The place is cool not because of its modern architecture but because of its old junks inside, from clock to telephone to figurines etc. You can feel Vigan's heritage once you enter the place. The food is good and affordable, for Php 95.00 you can have a breakfast meal (longsilog + coffee/milo), Of course it's longganisang Vigan! After our meal, we took souvenir photos of the place, the receptionist are kind enough to help us take our group pictures (sorry jenjie hihi).

Upper left - group pic courtesy of the receptionist; Right -  Longsilog;
Bottom left: Group picture before our breakfast; Right - si Carlo kulit
Upper Left: Another group pic ^^; Right: The Reception
Bottom Left: Calle Crisologo painting; Left: moi ^^
Day 1 tour...

Our first pit stop is Baluarte, owned by Gov. Chavit Singson. You can bet that this person is really an animal lover, an expensive animal lover i must say $.$

The zoo was properly maintained by the owner. Entrance is free, you can ride the mini kalesa, photo ops with the colorful birds and snake. You will definitely enjoy the place especially young ones.

hanapin niyo ako! hehe
Our 2nd stop is Pagburnayan Pottery Making. The burnay is an earthenware jar crafted by a potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel. They said that local bagoong (fish sauce), sugarcane vinegar and basi wine would not taste as good if not fermented in stoneware burnay jars. (source:

The potter made an introduction and showed us how to make a small vase. We watched him closely as he form his master piece out of the small clay. In just a snap, the vase was finished! holy crap! 

Of course we also took the opportunity to try this out...

Panis kayo sa gawa namen kuya! hehe

After the muddy challenge, its our time to visit the museum. We visited the famous Syquia Mansion. 

Syquia Mansion is owned by Dona Alicia Quirino, wife of the Philippines 6th President Elpidio Quirino. Memorabilia of the family are well kept in the house. As per the caretaker, all furniture in the mansion are on its original state, some of them are the kalesa, the huge murano mirror in the living room, the wooden tables, chairs, beds and of course the ming dynasty vase. It is a well maintained spanish era mansion, the caretaker is very informative and gets you involved in family history. So if you're already in Calle Crisologo, don't forget to visit the place, its all worth it :) 

Few blocks away from Syquia Mansion is the photogenic Calle Crisologo. Photogenic because the street is beautiful in any angle. Our guide said that it is the only place that was saved from World War II because of love story hmmm interesting right? pang MMK! The Japanese General love to his Filipina wife saved the town from destruction.

Calle Crisologo is also a venue for souvenir items in Vigan, you can see local products along the street like vinegar, tobacco, antique furniture etc. You will definitely enjoy your walks here.

some group shots.. panira ng kalye hehehe :D

swaggers :D

We headed our way to Batac City where we took our lunch, where? Of course at the famous Empanada and Mami stalls in Batac. For just Php 60.00 (Php 35.00 for empanada and Php25.00 for the mami), you can have a tummy filled lunch.

Also in Batac you can drop by at Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. The place shows memorabilia of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, from being a student up to his presidency. The solemn mausoleum of the president where his embalmed body has been on for public display are actually
prohibited for picture taking. Some says its just a wax version of the president and the real body was already buried but history says that mortician confirmed that the corpse is real. Well, I actually don't know whats real hehehe..

Oye! @ Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Another property of the Marcoses is called Malacanang of the North. The rest house is now turned into a museum. I personally like the structure of the house, it has a huge lawn and was facing the Paoay Lake. Its cool and refreshing inside because of large window panes that allows the wind to enter the house. The thing i liked about old houses is the spacious arrangement. The furniture are basic and well placed (wala ganong burloloy).

Malacanang of the North ~ “MalacaƱang ti Amianan”  in local dialect

We also passed the famous church of Poaoy, also called St. Augustine Church of Poaoy. Our guide said its an example of Baroque church. The church was made of shells and baked clay. This is the second time that i see the church yet I still feel ecstatic. Its the same feeling the first time i stepped out of the van, out of words.. just full admiration to the century-old structure.

Its been a tiring day. We arrived at Java Hotel safe and sound. Good thing we're already in the hotel when rain started to pour generously. Some of us went out to swim and play basketball.We had Chowking delivery for dinner and my guy friends ended the day with a toast of liquors.

Thanks to Gladys, Kiko and Jenjie for the pictures.

Day 2 and 3 to follow (pag sinipag ulit) ^^

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