Vigan, Ilocos Sur
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A Travel Guide to Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Top 5 Attractions

“There’s not much to see or do in Vigan.” “What are you talking about? I had so much fun!”

I’ve always wanted to go to Ilocos ever since I was 8 or 9 years old. And maarte pa ako! I want to go there by road, not by plane if possible. But gathering a group of people to go on an 8-10 hour road trip is difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, that I really thought this goal of mine will never ever happen… until the government declared a 5-day holiday during the Papal Visit. For once, everyone was available to go.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

After much convincing and a little bit of planning, we were finally able to go on a Northern Luzon Adventure. We left Manila on Thursday, 12:30AM. We were supposed to leave earlier, but the traffic in Metro Manila was crazy as majority of the roads are blocked in preparation for the coming of the Pope.

9-10 long hours later, we finally arrived at our first stop.

Our first stop was Bantay, a municipality in Ilocos Sur. On your way to Vigan, you’ll be crossing the Abra River through the new Quirino Bridge. The Old Quirino Bridge is the steel-supported bridge is located on the other side, against a beautiful backdrop of nature’s work. I didn’t know at that time, but there’s an Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone near this bridge. Adrenaline junkies can do the 400-m zip line, climbing, and even rappelling walks here.

Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur

Our next stop was The Saint Augustine Parish Church, or most commonly known as the Bantay Church and its Bell Tower. It’s one of the oldest surviving churches in Ilocos Sur and has served as a monumental watchtower for during the Spanish era.

Need To Know: The gates of the Bell Tower is open from 6AM-6PM daily. You can go up to the tower and see the bell and surrounding views. Entrance free but donations are highly appreciated.

Our next stop was *finally* The UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the NEW7Wonders CitiesVigan City!

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

The first item on our itinerary was the Padre Burgos House, but it was, unfortunately, going through rehabilitation and temporarily closed to the public.

Our next stop was the Pagburnayan, the iconic pottery place in Vigan City. There are two major burnayans in Vigan City, Ruby’s Pottery, and RG Jar Factory. They sit right across one another on Gomez Street. At RG Jar Factory, we didn’t see the full process of creating a burnay, or hand-crafted earthenware pots, but we did manage to see someone give us a demo on how to form one. We even had the chance to try it ourselves, Clay Pottery was so much fun that I was telling my mom we should enroll in one of the workshops of Ugu Bigyan, a famous artist in our province. But he’s so popular that the next available workshop is on May.

Need To Know: Entrance is free for both places, but donations are highly appreciated.

Photo On The Left: Trying to form something out of the clay. I may or may not have created a small cup instead of a vase.

Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur

Our third stop was the Crisologo Museum. While I was doing my research, I thought the Crisologo Museum and Padre Burgos House is just one and the same. Apparently, the Crisologo Museum is a family mansion-turned-museum dedicated to a well-known congressman, Floro Crisologo. Mr. Crisologo has done so many achievements during his time, the most notable one is the establishment of the Social Security System (SSS) — a social insurance program that is still being used today in the country. Sadly, the museum was understaffed that day, so no one could go around and share us the detailed story of Mr. Crisologo. The tour guide available would only share a few tidbits, then would go away to attend the other coming guests. The only interesting story for me was the car used by Mrs. Crisologo. Although the real target was his husband, she was miraculously survived an assassination attempt while being pregnant. Her child was later called Bullet because of the incident.

Need To Know: The museum is open daily until 4:30PM (with lunch break) and admission is free, but donations are highly appreciated.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur

Our fourth stop is the Syquia Mansion, but I enjoyed that mansion so much that I think it deserves a separate post.

Moving on, we finally found the correct location of Rowilda’s Loom Weaving. It’s outside the city proper, to the direction of the Vigan River Cruise. The great thing about Vigan is that you can ask for directions and they’ll be happy to assist you.

Once you’re there, you’ll see locals in action as they turn a handful of strands into something beautiful. The contraption they use to weave looks intimidating, especially when you watch them do it with incredible speed. But they were nice enough to let us try for a bit and it was fun.

Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur

Six places in a span of three hours. Can you imagine? We spent 30 minutes to one hour to every museum and attractions we’ve visited, and they were often 3-5 minutes away by car. You can also get to these places by hiring a Kalesa Tour or riding a tricycle.


Northern Luzon Adventure Blog Series:
Vigan’s Top 5 Attractions
Why You Should Visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion
Adventure Diary: Calle Crisologo, Vigan
What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Top 4 Sights To See in Pagudpud: The Boracay of the North

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryle
    February 21, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Great adventure, Kisty! Vigan is such a nice place according to many, but I have not been there yet. What does it feel when you’re at the top of the bell tower? :)

    Cheryle

  • Reply
    Andrea
    February 21, 2015 at 8:42 PM

    I have been dying to try my hand at pottery! This looks like an unforgettable day. How did you manage doing so many things in such a short period?

  • Reply
    Joyce
    February 22, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    I looooooove Vigan! I had a lovely time there. I just hope we had more time to explore the place. And i’ve been to Padre Burgos Museum, hihi luckily it hasn’t been close when we visited the place. And the kalesa driver that toured us was very informative, he basically know Vigan up-side-down. Haha we were very lucky we met him.
    Have you been to Secret Garden while you were in Vigan? It’s a small lovely place. :)
    http://www.bitsofjoyce.com

    • Reply
      Roxanne Angelie Fajardo
      February 22, 2015 at 2:55 AM

      I agree. Secret Garden was beautiful! :) The restaurant inside it also serves the best* bagnet sisig!
      *for me hehe

  • Reply
    Roxanne Angelie Fajardo
    February 22, 2015 at 2:53 AM

    Great read! I suddenly missed Ilocos. My favorite part in the Vigan trip was visiting Pagburnayan. I have done slab pottery before but it was my first time to do something like that on a wheel. Well, I pretty messed up the work of the potter. :P I think it was also in Vigan where I tasted their dragon fruit dirty ice cream. It was really cute! The scoops really resembled the shape of a dragon fruit. :)

    I love reading your Philippine travel posts! They’re really informative and going through it made me feel that you had a meaningful trip. Looking forward to the rest of the series! :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:54 AM

      Pagburnayan was also my favorite! I really wanna learn, but when I asked for Ugu Bigyan’s workshop — it was expensive and will happen in May pa! Though I’m sure there are other pottery classes in the country, he’s considered the best. Too bad I wasn’t able to try their dirty ice cream, I bet it’s an Instagram worthy scoop! Hehe.

      Thank you, Roxanne! I’m glad my travel posts has helped and inspired a lot of people. <3

  • Reply
    Cherry
    February 23, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    hi kisty, this is timely! I’m going there this April for the second time but this time we’re going to spend most of our days in pagudpdud, your link there is not working.

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 23, 2015 at 2:02 PM

      Hi! The other links will only be available once it’s published! :)

      • Reply
        Cherry
        February 24, 2015 at 7:25 AM

        hey kisty! how long is the travel time from vigan to pagudpud?

  • Reply
    Trish
    February 24, 2015 at 12:24 AM

    I really enjoyed our tour in Syquia Mansion as well! Did you get a guide? :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 24, 2015 at 9:59 PM

      There was one inside the house. He was actually guiding two ladies, tapos I overheard him lang. So I started following him, until kami nalang ng family ko yung ginaguide nya :))

  • Reply
    Anna
    February 24, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    Pretty photos!! Makes me want to go there. :(

  • Reply
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    March 3, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    […] Luzon Adventure Blog Series: Vigan’s Top 5 Attractions Why You Should Visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion Adventure Diary: Calle Crisologo, Vigan What To […]

  • Reply
    Jada
    February 12, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    This is post is helpful. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 12, 2016 at 4:37 PM

      Glad you find this helpful, Jada! :D

  • Reply
    Cassandra
    June 5, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    `Your blog is very pretty and clean. Thanks for sharing about Vigan, I’m planning to spend my 1 week summer vacay in Vigan soon.

  • Reply
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