So happy that I’m finally blogging about our Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte trip! It’s been almost a month since this very spontaneous weekend with our mom and I hope that reading this will still be of interest to you! Verniece and I made a vow to explore more of the country this year since we feel like everyone’s interested to travel abroad but we fail to see that the Philippines too is beautiful and is rich of the culture that we long to learn about from other countries. I guess it’s because it’s ours that we take advantage of it! I just hope that the saying “you only appreciate what you have till it’s gone” will not be applicable to us Filipinos ever :(
Since this was a very last minute trip, we needed to help of an agency to fix everything for us. It’s actually the first time we’re using one (personally and not through a brand) so we didn’t know what to expect. I thought that since everything’s online already, I don’t need any help. Boy, I was wrong! Days leading to a trip can be quite busy for anyone that having someone to fix everything for you makes a vacation feel like more of a vacation. We asked DESTINATION GETAWAYS to book our hotel and fix our itinerary and they chose Hoel Luna for us. We actually just planned to stay in Vigan because there’s already plenty to see and do but they suggested we do Ilocos Sur and Norte as well. Glad we did because we got to see more beautiful places! :)
The hotel’s the best in the Vigan area and if I’m not mistaken it’s a four star hotel. That’s pretty impressive for an area as provincial as Vigan and I highly suggest you stay here! You’ll get a feel of how Filipinos lived in the olden times and the service is impeccable. I also recommend you eat their tocino for breakfast.. omg to die for!!
Casa Crisologo is actually the reason why we wanted to stay in Vigan and it’s famous for old houses like these.
Our second stop is the Bantay Bell Tower. Verniece already gave a few facts on this here :)
The country boasts of beautiful churches and this place didn’t fall short of it!
We had lunch at Cafe Leona where we tried the pinakbet and the famous Bagnet.
We were surprised to see a few of you guys outside the restaurant waiting for us! It made us so happy! Thank you for commuting all the way to us :)
We also tried the famous Vigan Empanada. I actually didn’t expect it to look like this as I’m used to the brown one and I only eat chicken as the filling but this had vegetables and egg!
Hotel Luna at just before sunset.
The next morning was dedicated to Ilocos Sur.
Our first stop was the Juan Luna shrine! He is a famous Filipino painter and if I’m not mistaken this is where he was born and where he grew up.
We also went to the Malacañang of the north, the house of the Marcos’ here in Ilocos. They’re a famous political dynasty headed by former president Ferdinand Marcos.
We also went to the Paoay Church. It’s such a pretty one that I didn’t even question why it’s considered a UNESCO heritage site and I’m so happy they preserved this one.
We also went to Fort Ilocandia. Here’s a few facts on this too!
We went back to Vigan to spend our last night. It’s still such a provincial city that we’re forced to end our days and sleep early! We’re in bed as early as 10 pm! :) That never happens in Manila :P
Our last stop was the Bangui Windmills in Ilocos Norte. It was so surreal to see them in person! :)
Again, a big thank you to Destination Getaways for arranging our trip. I really hope you guys visit this city soon!! It’s so pretty! :) I’m sure you’ll learn and appreciate our culture a lot more and you’ll fall more in love with the country. I’ll be back soon!