Monday, February 16, 2015


The first bite of Vigan happened at Granpa's Inn restaurant called Kusina Felicitas. A place of tasty sumptous meals that is just right for the price. That is where I first tasted bagnet and crispy dinuguan, a delicacy that is really Vigan! Although most of the foods are pork base, you can also find vegetarian foods like poqui pogui. You cannot miss this place when you go visit Vigan specially because the staff can also describe you old century bricks and authentic Vigan antique pieces that are part of restaurant.

After that gastronomical adventure, it's time to explore Vigan by foot in attempt to shake off the calories and of course discover more of what this place can offer. We headed back to Calle Crisologo and walked all the way to both ends. And then a quick visit to the well lit St. Paul's Cathedral for a night shot. 

The phone alarm rang at 4:30 a.m., it's time for the famous "walk at dawn" in Calle Crisologo. As we stepped out of our hotel, we saw an army of tourist already walking around taking photos, like it was the night before, as if they never went to bed. It was a pain taking a slow shutter shot as the tourist don't really care about you and they end up like ghost in my photos. I gave up taking photos after a few shots, I just enjoy the place and waited for the crack of dawn. The blue hour with dark blue skies lightening up against the backdrop of this Spanish structures is simply magical!

Back to Cordillera Inn for a nice breakfast, we went up the 3rd floor that opens up to a veranda overlooking the street of Calle Crisologo on a different perspective :)

 The blue hour

It's a fun filled day visiting several places of interest around Vigan. We started off with Syquia Mansion, toured by a descendant of the Syquia's, he told us the history,secrets and showed us things we can't photographed. Then we travelled a few minutes to Burnayan (potteryshop), where they have a live session on pot making, you can even try it yourself.

 Next stop is the Crisologo Museum, which almost same as the first one. And then lunch! This time we went out of the busy street of Vigan and drove towards the airport where a famous garden is hiding.

 The Hidden Garden, famous for it's collection of flowers, potted plants and bonsai. The ambience of the place is so relaxing, that you get drawn to lay down in one of the hanging swing made of bamboo sticks. Water fountains, sitting areas and beautiful clay pots are scattered around the place. The famous Lilong and Lilang restaurant serves yet another mouth watering dishes. It was so good that when they asked me how is my meal I responded "it was heaven! will you be nice enough to adopt me here?

After that feast, we decided to visit the "abel" weavers - the famous loom weavers of Vigan. It's a family run business that was handed down from generation to generation. Their products which includes blankets, bags, linens, camisa chino, bath towels and robes, hand towels, placemats, napkins, table runners and fabric materials are sold in Calle Crisologo and are of import qualities.

Rowilda shop is owned by the Panela family with Dominico and Milagros couple. They named it after their only child’s name. Dominico started his loom weaving business in 1977 equipped with his acquired skill from his ancestors. It was stopped for lack of capital and revived it in 1989 when he came back from working abroad. He bought some of the textile weaving machines of his neighbors when they started to move and work abroad. Rowilda has eight weavers that includes the couple.

This article was published in HKLife News February 2015 Issue

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