(Continuation : Ilocos and Cebu trips 1)
It was time to prep up and start the Vigan tour. Well I was the last one to rise from bed. My friends were waiting and they have left their stuff at the counter since we were checking out already. After a few minutes and done with all the personal stuff, I went out of the room with my things and left it too, at the counter. MJ informed the lady clerk that were were going for a half day tour and will get back to our things around noon.
We went out of the hostel and walked our way to the plaza. Along the way, the historical buildings then showed up. The first old structure that greeted us was the Vigan cathedral and convent at the right side. The church was painted white and it was a Baroque architectural wonder. It was early morning then and the town plaza was surprisingly alive as there was a marathon held during that time. People were gathering and enjoying some kind of celebration. There was also a fair on the side where people sell their native wares. On the far end was also a flower for sale stop. MJ told us that they have an "empanada" of some sort and since we wanted to have a taste of a local food, we did not hesitate to try their "empanada". The food was interesting - it has sprouts, some meat, and egg and the dip was a hot and spicy vinegar with soy sauce. After we ate, we then continued to roam and since we were a bit hungry and did not have breakfast, we decided to eat. We had another local food and I find the beef soup weird but interesting as it was a bit bitter with a slight tang and spice. It was new taste for my friends and I. After we filled our tummies, we decided to get a McDonalds float. From McDonalds, we roam the Vigan strip leading to the world heritage site of Vigan the Crisologo street. It is a street lined up with very much preserved Spanish houses dating back as early as 18th hundreds. I was by the way intrigued by their commercial buildings as they were very much also in theme of the place. Take for example the CAP building, the Scout's building, Maybank, and even McDonalds were attuned in time which was in Spanish era. After more than a mile of walking, we decided to go to the Baluarte, which the Governor of Ilocos has created a private safari. We hired a tricycle (local transportation) and we paid for 10pesos, which by the way is the fare for tourists I suppose. They actually charge differently if you are a tourist. I find it weird because we were Filipinos wahahahah even if we were admittingly tourist but not really foreigners. Anyway, we reached Baluarte almost noon already so the sun was up and the weather was really dry. We saw some bird species both local and foreign, the very interesting ostriches, their deers and the ferocious tigers. I then was confused if it were really a safari or a zoo :D After some photo ops, we then decided to visit a local pottery. Good thing the driver brought us to the place where we wanted to be. Each one of us then had a chance to do some pottery which was really really fun. If you want to go to Vigan, this activity should never be missed. The workers were actually very friendly and there was this one guy who really guided us through in making our own masterpieces. For our sincere thanks, we gave him a good tip. After the tiring the pottery, we went back to the main plaza and looked for something to eat and we decided to have the special "empanada" again. After the meal, we then went to our hostel on foot. We got our stuff, thanked the lady clerk and then rode a tricycle going to the bus terminal. Our next stop was to Batac, Ilocos Norte.
(To be continued....)