Working overseas has been teaching me a lot of life lessons. Building friendships that aren’t restricted by distance and time is one of the best ones so far.
We have been planning to visit Vigan since Dimdac and Ms. Wonderwall met at the airport in 2013. They became instant best friends.
It was the reason why the plan was included in the Bucket List after both interests in going to said place were signified.
Thank goodness for my Mabuhay Miles. The plan came to fruition in 2018 just like this rustic sunrise when it turned into a sunny day on the 8th of June—the first of our travel days.
We started with swimming at the black sand beach of Brgy. Mindoro specifically Playa de Oro Resort’s.
Hitting this place may not be the highlight of our summer getaway in the province but it was certainly an essential part.
As you now know, we’re at our happiest when we’re at the beach.
Our itinerary that day was jam-packed. Vigan is swarming with so many things to see and do.
The perfect thing about Vigan is that visitors can check all the available tourist attractions within just a day via a scooter or tricycle. The latter is the only mode of public transportation by the way—no matter the distance—in the entire city so make a note of that. We opted to rent one for convenience and because it’s a lot economical.
We left Dimdac’s Residence in Brgy. Mindoro at around 9:00 AM and headed straight to Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo along Quirino Boulevard in Tamag.
This alone can eat several hours of the time with numerous attractions scilicet the zoo where you can not only see but interact with some of the predatory and exotic animals; the Golden Tower (Chavit Singson’s abode) that’s radiating all the affluence of life; the greenery around which is already a great and independent treat; and the world-class museum of preserved exotic and familiar animals.
Eventually, roaming around as well as checking those attractions from this enormous land made us hungry like giants.
This was how we got to the Hidden Garden of Vigan.
It was lunchtime when we arrived at the garden which, by the way, is not really hidden but just nesting in the heart of the city along Katipunan St. and is well-known to and frequented by both locals and visitors alike. It’s safe to say the name was derived from it being hidden from the people in the area because of the perimeter walls.
The garden houses the popular restaurant in town that serve must-eat Ilocano food and delicacies. (It got us with its pansit.)
The place is stylishly adorned with mini fountains and giant burnay that are so nice to look at while having lunch. It simply makes relaxing easy with the cozy ambiance.
The immaculate comfort rooms are a bonus.
This visual and appetite feast in the garden was followed by a visit at the potteries’ shops. This brought me back to my childhood days when I take salt or brown sugar from these unglazed earthen jars. Apparently, they’re called burnay in Ilocos.
I took a clip of the actual pottery making, and I was so impressed with how much effort and attention being put to it.
My thumbs are up for Vigan City government more so the potters’ dedication to preserving this art knowing it’s status to date.
Long live the art of pottery making!
A little bit later, we’re down to our penultimate destination in Bantay—which is truly one of Vigan’s most iconic landmarks.
According to what I read, the church was built in 1591 to serve as the town’s watchtower and was turned into a bell tower for the nearby church in 1857. It was also Diego and Gabriela Silang’s favorite dating place.
It always feels good to set foot on a surviving historical place because of the feelings it evokes. This bell tower summoned in me the feeling of pride, sadness, and amusement.
I’m proud because not everyone can get here; disconsolate for knowing that it bore witness to the tragedies of war back in its glorious days; and happy for what it was paving at that moment.
The highlight about the ultimate destination and most symbolic image of Vigan and Ilocos Sur as a whole, Calle Crisologo, will be showcased on a separate blog post.
Mindoro Beach in Vigan: Ilocos Sur Trip 19 (azraelsmaryland.blogspot.com)
Ilocos Sur: Hidden Garden of Vigan (nicerioadventures.blogspot.com)
The Art of Making Burnay: Vigan, Ilocos Sur (themixedculture.com)
Bantay Church Bell Tower (primer.com.ph)