Feels like Sparring with Bobby Pacquiao in Vigan | Ilocos Sur

Vigan was our last stop-over during our long Bonifacio weekend trip. A journey that started in Cubao and passing by the towns of Tumauini and San Pablo in Isabela, a pit stop for the night at Tuguegarao then to Sta Ana in Cagayan for an overnight camping at Palaui Island.

Livs Yao

On our way back from Palaui, we spent almost the whole day waiting for a bus going to Laoag from Cagayan. Finally, at around 4pm of Monday afternoon, we got ourselves a ride. Haggard from the long trip, we were still delighted that we’re heading toward Ilocos Sur before going back to Manila. We passed by the suspended bridge connecting Ilocos and Appari and several more towns in Cagayan before reaching Ilocos Norte at around 7 pm.

Levy Amosin
Too bad it was already night time as I wasn’t able to see the scenery while we drove by Pagudpud. And only if we had more time to spare we would have entertained the idea of spending the night in Pagudpud. We arrived in Laoag, Ilocos Sur at around 9pm – completing a 5-hour trip from Lal-lo, Cagayan to Laoag.

We took another bus to Vigan at around 10:30 pm – arriving in Vigan just before midnight. Despite being tired and wasted from the long bus ride, my friends Carrie and Sharlyn were still the same joyful duo. They have proven capable of what I’ve asked them to bear during our long ass trip. I keep telling them that they passed my backpacking bootcamp by being spirited adventurers, who in spite of their kikay personalities could instantly shift to being  ‘koboys’ on the road.

Lauren Denoga

We were taken by a trike driver to a nearby inn in the middle of the night. A man in his late 50’s answered us from his deep slumber and graciously showed us to our rooms which costs us 800 bucks for the night. We forgot what the name of the place was – that’s why the next day when we went to Burgos plaza to have breakfast and stroll around Calle Crisologo we could not say the name of the place to the trike driver. Carrie described it to the trike driver as “this cheap inn near a bridge with statues on the road side”. Fortunately, the trike driver figured it out.

Celine Murillo
Vigan is popular for being the site of Calle Crisologo – a UNESCO declared ‘World Heritage Site’ (one of the five such sites in the Philippines) covering rows of old colonial houses that dates back to the Spanish era. It was my 2nd time to visit this place – the first was during our long road trip to Pagudpud way back in the summer of 2007. I would never get tired of coming back to Vigan. I always love walking along the fine cobblestone road surrounded by fine classical architecture of the colonial times. One can’t help but be taken back in time.

Mujee Gonzales with Christian Sangoyo and Dennis Murillo

It’s like being in a different world when you’re in Vigan’s heritage village. One should try the rows of Empanada eateries that also offers another Vigan known delicacy – the “Sinanglaw” - a mere walking distance from the St Paul’s Church or the Vigan Cathedral and Plaza Burgos.

“Sinanglaw” is like a cross-between of bulalo and papaitan but it is composed of cow innards cooked in garlic, peppers, ginger and onions.


I bought Vigan longanisa as present for my mom and delighted on a brunch of “Sinanglaw” and “Empanada” before we head out to the bus terminal at around 1:00pm for our final trip going home (weeps) – yeah I know, the tough part of going out on a trip was always the “going home part”.

Vigan Empanada

The Vigan Cathedral (built in 1641) always bristles with activity among the faithful attending mass or in that day’s case – a lovely wedding. Amidst the parked kalesas beside the church and rows of souvenir shops, taking a walk at the two adjacent plaza’s – Plaza Burgos and Plaza Salcedo – should provide you with a fine morning activity.

If you find yourself heading out North of Luzon, please do drop by Vigan and immerse yourself in some historic wanderings and pick up a thing or two about their rich heritage. So there, after a long journey that had us almost circling the North of Luzon, we were finally on the bus heading back to Manila. It was tiresome - sort of like going through a walloping in a sparring session with Bobby Pacquiao (Manny's less talented brother). That said, I could not ask for more as just having the opportunity to be on the road is too great to pass up.