Ilocos Quick Tour, Part 4: Vigan‘s Heritage Village
From Ilocos Norte Capitol, I hurriedly hailed a trike back to Isabel Suites to check out and catch the next bus out to Vigan from Partas Terminal.
Trivia: Partas Transportation Lines by the way is owned by ex-governor Chavit Singson thus given such name—the reverse of “SATRAP”, an ancient Persian word for governor.
The main purpose of my trip was to see Vigan but since there are no direct flights to the capital of Ilocos Sur, I had to go through Laoag. That’s how I accidentally discovered the historical sights of Laoag.
I dread taking long bus rides. I had enough of those long bus rides when I worked as Performance Management Supervisor in NOCECO in Kabankalan City. Kabankalan is a 2-hour bus ride from Bacolod City, the place I’ve always considered home even though my family heritage is from Bohol.
The long bus ride was also the reason why I opted to fly to Laoag even though the plane ticket was expensive and friends have told me that taking the 8-hour bus from Manila to Vigan will be more scenic. But this time, I have no choice, into the bus – Vigan here I come!
Partas bus is aircon and fare are P130.00. The bus left at about 2 something. The travel from Laoag to Vigan is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, depending on the speed of the driver. The weather was gloomy and halfway through, it rained. I arrived in Vigan in the middle of a heavy downpour at about 4 PM. I hailed a trike, no cabs in Vigan, and instructed the driver to bring me to Vigan Hotel.
I booked myself an ordinary single room. All I need is an aircon room with cable tv, a place to relax in after a tour. But when I was ushered into my room, I was greatly disappointed: air-conditioning unit is ancient, it makes so much noise when turned on – I feel like a bomb is about to explode at anytime, the sink is mounted on the wall like a lonely piece of crap, and I didn’t have a toilet and bathroom inside my room! I turned on my laptop, surfed the net for the next available hotel I can find and checked out within 10 minutes of arriving. I asked the hotel for a full refund. I ended up staying in El Juliana.
El Juliana offers budget-friendly accommodation and although it’s not near the famous Calle Crisologo, I can still walk to the heritage site or take a trike for P10.00 and that’s what I exactly did after checking in.
It was getting dark when I arrived in Calle Crisologo, not knowing where to start, I entered Cafe Leona and ordered their Pinakbet Pizza. I was told it’s a must try when in Vigan but I personally did not like it. Only to find out the next day from my trike driver turned tour guide that it wasn’t the best place to eat it. Oh well… it was an expensive P345.00 lesson to learn.