Vigan, Ilocos Sur: A Walk at Calle Crisologo

It was the mango shake’s fault.

Or shall I say It was, the restaurant’s fault, Cafe Leona.

You don’t have any idea how excited we were when we ordered the mango shake at Café Leona. Since we decided to have lunch first at the restaurant before exploring Vigan, that drink was a must, considering the scorching heat outside.

The service at the restaurant was painfully slow. We got our orders after countless minutes, or after lifetime if I may say it in exaggeration. We’ve kept our cool. We were there to travel and not to get stressed.

When one of my friends, reminded the waiter about the mango shake, he said, “ay may order poba kayong mango shake? (Oh, did you order mango shake?)

That was it. Re-ordering mango shake from that resto would mean waiting for a lifetime again. And a lifetime should only be spent once, not twice. LOL!

We’ve had enough, we had to go and explore Vigan, or else we might burn the restaurant (just kidding! LOL)

explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

Credit: Flikr – Jaya / Creative Commons

explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo
explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

So that was it, our moment with Vigan started with a not so good mood.

But hey, there shouldn’t be any negative mood when we talk about Vigan. This is a national heritage. And just recently named one of the 7 New Wonders of the World.

We have to be proud. We got to be positive. Ok, we’ve picked ourselves up from negativity until we were at the entrance of Calle Crisologo, the popular spot in Vigan with old houses and structures. Going there can make you feel you were time-traveled during the Spanish colonial times. It was such grand and beauty.

Until you see this ridiculous number of tourists. LOL!

explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo
explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

We tried to take some pictures, but there are a lot of photobombers. They tried to take some photos but we photobombed them. LOL!

So in just a matter of minutes, none of my travel buddies were there at the street.

After a moment, I’ve found them inside the shops buying some souvenir items and “pasalubong.”

What a nice move. I knew it and I totally understood. The number of people at Calle Crisologo was just overwhelming. They didn’t want to be stressed, so it was better to just you know, go (hands up while saying) shopping! LOL!

explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

You know the difference between a man and a woman when in comes to shopping right? A woman can roam around the place for ages looking for one item. While men, when they see it and they like it, they buy it then go out.

That was exactly what happened to me. I bought some souvenir items, shirts and other pasalubong in just a matter of minutes. It was so fast I wished it was as fast as the service of Café Leona restaurant, yes, we are always going back to the mango shake incident right? LOL!

I told myself, hey going to this tourist spot in the Philippines is just like a once ( or twice) in a lifetime experience, so I’d be better enjoy the opportunity.

I walked along the Calle Crisologo marveling at the Spanish times structures. It was just amazing how people of Vigan and the local government was able to preserve these. (except from the Mang Inasal that I saw there) LOL! I just couldn’t understand why to put a fast-food chain in a place where you want to preserve culture and history.

To escape the influx of tourists, I went to the inner part of Calle Crisologo. There, where the people are at its minimal number, I tried to take some pictures.

Then I’ve realized that it was just impossible to take a shot of Vigan without getting the other travelers inside the frame.

So I just gave up… and just click my phone to enjoy the place’s beauty of culture and history.

explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

When I was about to go back to the place where there are many shops to check with my travel buddies, if they’re already done with their shopping, I decided to take a selfie. And lo and behold, I was just amazed when I saw my photo. Whew! At last, I was able to take a picture of Vigan without any other people except me! What an achievement! LOL!
explore, travel, vigan, ilocos sur: a walk at calle crisologo

My friends were still there, busy inside the shops looking for the right shirt or souvenir.

At that point, I felt a sense of fulfilment, that I was able to explore the place and not spent all my time shopping…

And I’ve realized that I should not be annoyed by this huge number of travelers, because it is a sign that people are slowly appreciating not only the value of travel but also the huge contribution of Vigan in preserving the Filipino culture and heritage.

I shouldn’t be sad. I shouldn’t be in a bad mood after all.I shouldn’t let just one bad experience hinder me from appreciating the value and learnings of travel.

Just take away the negativity, but still…I think I shouldn’t disregard the fact that – it was actually the restaurant’s, the mango shakes’ fault. 🙂


Travel Guide to Calle Crisologo in Vigan – How to get there

By Bus

It’s about 8 hour bus ride from Manila going to Vigan via Ilocos Highway. Bus companies like Partas and Dominion have regular trips to Vigan. While Farinas and Florida have schedule from Manila to Laoag which passes through Vigan.

By Plane

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific both have daily flights to Laoag.  Then you may ride a bus to Vigan. Bus station is located at Lagasca St corner Gen. Antonio Luna near the Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol.

Travel Tips – Vigan

1. There are lot of Tour companies that offer Vigan tour or Ilocos tours. These turned out to be very convenient and affordable if you can maximize your head count. You can really save if you’re going to avail by group. The more the merrier. We tried Travel Ventours and he had a great time. Of course, if you are the adventurous type, you may go on DIY.

2. Try best food and dishes in Ilocos. Don’t miss the empanada and bagnet!

3. Aside from Calle Crisologo, there are a lot of other spots to enjoy and discover in Vigan like Baluarte, the Bell Tower, Plaza Salcedo and a lot of souveiner shops! 🙂 There are also beach resorts in Vigan like the one in Barangay Mindoro.

4. Address: Mena Crisologo Street, Vigan, Ilocus Sur Luzon, Philippines

For more info about Vigan, please check Vigan.ph 🙂