Welcome to the first post on the Ilocos trip I took with last November 2016! It was such a great opportunity for me to see more of the country I grew up in and the road trip we had was fun albeit exhausting at some point. For the first day, we left home at 12am for a long drive to the Northern part of Luzon. First destination: Vigan.
Our first stop on the way to Ilocos was this church with a name that I do not remember. (oops) It was somewhere in La Union, iirc. I may not be good with remembering names of places but I am a big fan of church interiors. The altar looked majestic and it looked peaceful inside. There was a mass ongoing when we arrived but it was in Ilokano so we decided not to stay too long and continue with the drive further north.
Just as the sun was rising higher in the early morning, we arrived at Gapuz Grapes Farm in La Union. The grapes were not in season so we were the only tourists there but they were selling delicious grape wine that we just had to buy. While the group was busy buying multiple bottles of wine, some of us just chilled out and appreciated the quiet of the countryside.
So, basically, the first day was just us sitting in the car and driving further up north. No complaints, though! Northern Luzon is so far from Metro Manila that it looks so serene. And the air is so fresh and clean, I love it.
Finally, we arrived at Vigan and ticked the tourist-y places off our checklist! We climbed up the Bantay Bell Tower to get a good view of the city. And a cool scene of a cemetery (picture above)! Then, we headed for the Padre Burgos House which serves as a museum with artifacts from the Spanish period as well as a photography exhibit. It was totally a cool place to get cultured and appreciate the history of the country. Plus, the photography exhibit gave me a fresh appreciation for the work of professional photographers. Last museum we went to was the Crisologo Museum. It’s basically a house by someone rich from the Spanish era and then they turned it into a museum. It’s cool because you get an idea of how family life was like back then and how a sort of a caste system controlled where people sleep and where they should walk in the house and all that stuff.
After all those, we headed for the Baluarte Zoo. Zoos are sad but this is sadder. Plus, there’s literally a building where Chavit Singson displays animal carcasses from hunts, I guess? The exhibit smelled like formalin and I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone ever.
It was already nighttime when we got to our inn at Calle Crisologo. Calle Crisologo is this iconic cobblestone street in Vigan filled with stalls, stores, restaurants and inns. One restaurant that had amazing food was Cafe Leona! We ordered a ton of good food for dinner but the one that stood out the most was their Vigan Express! Ah, I still have dreams about that wonderful dinner. We then strolled along the busy street and went to the city plaza to watch their fountain show. After a long, exhausting day we went back to the inn and rested.