Never in my life have I imagined that I’m gonna love traveling because I got motion sickness so I really am not fond of riding a bus, most of all, and province hopping has never crossed my mind, until one day, this precious opportunity knocked and I’ve got nothing to do but to accept it. 🙂
By the way buddies, this post is very special to me as this is my first and real travel article that I’m gonna share with you all, just so you know. *winks* Alright! Here we go!
Ilocos region in the northern part of Luzon is approximately 195 km from Manila(©Google). It is dividedin to two provinces: Ilocos Norte, where Laoag and Pagudpud is located, and Ilocos Sur, home of the historical Calle Crisologo in Vigan.
At first, prior to me doing some research about Ilocos, I thought it was a small province wherein we can just stay somewhere near the windmill area then hire a tricycle if we wanna go to the “old street” for a night walk. Well, I think it’s possible but its gonna cost me a lot, probably a thousand (?), so I really am thankful to those bloggers, and to my Ilocano friend, who imparted their knowledge about Ilocos.
We were supposed to ride the 6am bus but due to our post shift meeting at work, we ended up riding the bus by 7am.
Since I’m the one who always do the budget calculation, I always choose the cheapest option, so we chose DOMINION BUS. Its terminal is located in Cubao, Quezon City, along EDSA, and just beside VIRON TRANSIT, which also has a Cubao-Vigan trip. From MRT Northbound lane just below Araneta/Cubao station is a tricycle terminal. Just tell kuya the magic words “Dominion bus terminal po“, and he’ll bring you there. We paid 15php/head, no haggling anymore since we’re too excited to see Vigan. (Hehehe!) We then rode the bus with a VIGAN signboard, and only then have we realized it was really happening, not a planning nor imagination stage anymore, and our dream destination is just a few hours away.
Our expected travel time is around 8-9 hours but due to some road conditions, it lasted for about 10-11 hours, i guess. We alighted the bus between 5:45-6:15pm, i can’t remember exactly, and we opted to take a walk to GREEN R hotel.
After taking few minutes of rest, we went to our very first destination: CALLE CRISOLOGO. From our hotel, we again opted to take a walk. It took us around 10-15 minutes,and needed to ask a guard on where that street was because we really don’t know as to where we’re going. Just tryin’ to be a smart ass. (phew!) Good thing, kuya guard is so nice to tell us several options, but we still chose the not-so-convenient-but-cheapy option, to walk, until finally, we found what we were looking for.
Upon arriving on that street, I feel so delighted! I can’t believe that my feet are walking on the preserved street where our ancestors have walked on. The place that I’m only seeing on books and pictures was right in front of me! Honestly, I’ve never been interested to history but because of the past-like experience I’ve had while I was walking down the cobbled street, lots of questions popped into my mind. Questions about our culture, about our history, and about the way of living some 50 to 100 years ago.
Since it was still early, several souvenir shops, restaurants, and pubs are still open. There are some kalesa that roams around, with kutseros offering their service for 150php/hour. First thing that we did, and just like what everyone else is doing, was to take pictures. We just can’t let the opportunity pass by, though alam naman naming di aalis yung Calle Crisologo, we can’t control our photograph reflex, so pagbigyan ang hilig! After a lot of shots, we then went to Lampong’s Restaurant to have our dinner. I apologize, I can’t remember the price of the menu anymore, but what remained to me is the satisfaction I felt when I tasted their DINAKDAKANG BAGNET. Oh how I love it! Most of our orders were Bagnet meals since it’s one of Ilocos’ pride dish. I really enjoyed Dinakdakan that I even ordered an extra cup of rice. DELISYOSO!
After that sumptuous meal, we were thinking of hiring a kalesa so we could roam around Vigan but kuya kutsero was too nice because he told us,since it’s already late and almost all the establishments were closed, it’s gonna be better if we’ll just have our kalesa tour morning of the following day so we can visit the tourist attractions as well. I thanked kuya for his honesty and payong kaibigan so we just roam around by feet for a while, checked the souvenir shops that were still open, bought some goodies,and took some pictures (again!). Common souvenirs are shirts, bags, wooden figures of windmill, kalesa, and other history related abubots, wallets, bracelets, and fans, and there are still lots of kinds of souvenirs to choose from. T-shirt’s price is normally around 100php to 200php, depending on the design, size, and color, and on that night I just bought 2 things: 1 white t-shirt and 1 flute, the wooden one.
[Everything that’s posted is based on the writer’s experience.]