Ilocos Sur is known for heritage sites and cultural attractions. It is home to the popular Vigan Heritage Village and Bantay Church. It is also known for its rich history and, well, delicious longganisa. That is why I was so excited to explore Ilocos Sur. We only had less than a day to do so, but we did our best to make the most out of it!
Our first stop—Pagburnayan! Pagburnayan Jar Making is one of the famous and must see attractions in the province. I used to watch pottery scenes in Filipino romantic films. It’s so nice to witness how it is in person.
Then, we headed to Baluarte, a zoo in Vigan owned by Chavit Singson. The entrance fee is free so we went straight in (after registering, of course). Upon entering the park, a long-necked dinosaur will welcome you. No big deal.
I’m not really a fan of zoos but I enjoyed strolling around Baluarte and taking photos of the cute animals, which by the way are roaming freely around the grounds.
Look at this cutie!
Our next stop was Bantay Church. Saint Augustine Parish Church, or more popularly known as Bantay Church, houses the miraculous image of Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Charity. If I am not mistaken, Our Lady of Charity is also the patroness of Ilocos.
Just a few steps from the church is Ilocos Sur’s most famous belfry—Bantay Tower. Here’s a quick trivia I got from the Internet: the tower served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish colonial era, hence its name bantay.
A candid photo of me taking a photo of the Church’s facade, with the belfry as my photobomber.
The view from the top.
Some mej silhouette photos taken at the top of the bell tower.
We had lunch at a carinderia by the Church. Bagnet for days!!!
After lunch, we’re off to Heritage Village!
Vigan City is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. (Read more.)
The Vigan Heritage Village is the main highlight of our tour! I’ve been wanting to see the cobblestone streets since Hekasi days!
I wish I can go back with my mom. She really dreams of seeing Calle Crisologo in person. I’ll try to talk her out of going soon! I’ll never get tired of walking along the streets of Heritage Village!
Hello, Calle Crisologo! I am so happy to have my photo taken here! I cannot contain my happiness! Ahhhhh! ❤
It was surreal! I can take a thousand photos and not even one can give Calle Crisologo justice. I just used to imagine walking along the most popular street in the country while I scroll through photos on Instagram and here we are now. I’m so kilig.
Ilocos Sur Capitol
Plaza Salcedo Dancing Fountain
How I wish I can witness the Salcedo Dancing Fountain live! Oh well, maybe next time.
St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
We went back to our van a little too early, so we decided to stroll around and see more of the Heritage Village. We walked to the Cathedral to take a few photos. We were able to take a glimpse of Plaza Burgos along the way and we also had the chance to see Plaza Salcedo and the Ilocos Sur Capitol (although we were too lazy to go nearer).
On our way back to Manila, we had a decent view of Quirino Bridge. Now there are a few places in Ilocos Sur that I wish we were able to go to but couldn’t because we had limited time. If I had the chance, I would’ve had lunch at Hidden Garden and I would’ve gone inside the Syquia Mansion, Crisologo Museum, and Fr. Burgos House to know more interesting historical facts and stories. I would have visited the centuries-old Sta. Maria Church, too. I read somewhere that it was declared a National Landmark and was used as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution. Finally, I would’ve been to the Banaoang View Deck and go down to take a few photos at the bridge itself. Nevertheless, I was happy to have explored the main attractions of Ilocos Sur. For now, this will do. But I hope to be back someday soon.
Ilocos Sur, you were nothing short of beautiful. Until we meet again!