Tuesday, December 13, 2016

[741] Reasons to Drive to Vigan (Again)

Before I go on, apologies in advance if I get some of the names wrong. I should be bringing along a small notebook to take notes next time I travel.

A few weeks ago my family and I drove to Vigan for a three-day holiday. It was a long and tiring drive, about 10 hours at our pace from Metro Manila to Hotel Veneto de Vigan.

I won't be recapping what we did on our trip. I will be writing down reasons why I would happily do this again. Budget and schedule willing, of course. So here they are, the reasons why I would want to go to Vigan again via road trip.

The Food

Before getting to Vigan my family and I stopped to eat at Bistro Candon in Candon, Ilocos Sur. We intentionally did not have lunch anywhere to eat here. My mom mentioned how good the food was, and boy it did not disappoint! The two highlights of our meal were the Bagnet on Poque-Poque Pizza and the Sunny Vigan Longganisa Pizza. Great food, so great I would probably willingly drive all the way and spend a night in Candon if I can eat lunch, dinner, and breakfast there before driving home!

My favorite pizza - Sunny Vigan Longganisa. Look at that egg!
Bagnet on Poque-Poque Pizza - also a great dish
Good food is INDEED meant for sharing.

Another amazing surprise was the restaurant in Cordillera Inn. The food was also very good, if not a bit pricey. Pricey in the sense that in the eateries outside you can get a meal for around Php60. But the price here is definitely worth it. The food is just great. The fact that the restaurant is air conditioned is just a lovely bonus. I am just glad my mom also recommended we eat here. I honestly didn't have any plans to eat here since every time we passed by the restaurant it was always empty.

Cordillera Inn's Bagnet Sisig
Poque-Poque, Fish Croquetas, and Bagnet from Cordillera Inn

Another reason to go back is the Ilocos Empanada. I only had one the whole trip, and to be honest it wasn't as great as the empanada from Laoag or Batac. I think I have to go back there to try Vigan empanada and not just from one branch.

Finally a good friend of mine recommended we try Tongson's Royal Bibingka. Good thing Maica went there early to buy because the lines were already getting long. Their bibingka was heavenly. It was made of cassava and was a lot chewy and creamier than the usual budin I eat from Quezon Province.

Tongson's Royal Bibingka - bite sized and very delicious
The Sights

So on the only whole day in Vigan Maica, Martina, and I took a calesa city tour. We were lucky our kutchera (female calesa driver) was very nice and pleasant. Aside from that she was also a very experienced tour guide. She brought us to the two places I wanted to visit -- Bantay Bell Tower and the Pottery places. If ever you want to take a city tour in Vigan, look for Manang Ditas.

Manang Ditas with Maica and Martina taken at Baluarte

This building is older than me. Obviously.
One of the Spanish era houses in Vigan
Calle Crisologo is the most famous place in Vigan. It is a cobblestone street and all the buildings there are Spanish-era restored buildings. This street is full of stores selling pasalubong and there are plenty restaurants to eat at. Calle Crisologo is also where Cordillera Inn is located.

Calle Crisologo at night

Finally, Vigan has two Churches to look at. San Agustin Church with Bantay Bell Tower and Vigan Cathedral.
San Agustin Church

Bantay Bell Tower - Decorated for Christmas Season
View from Bantay Bell Tower. The left mountain range is Cordillera and the right is Benguet.
Vigan Cathedral at Night
Family Bonding Time

Of course time spent with my family was the best reason to go to Vigan. It was a chance to relax and enjoy each other's company in a different environment. We spent around 72 hours together, for good or for bad.

Our family photo just outside the hotel. The start of our city tour.

Anyway that's all I have as reasons for going back to Vigan. I would definitely love to save up for another trip there.