Saturday, June 01, 2013

Two Trips Up North (Part 1)

This is a year late.  Anyway, today I think it is time I write about it.

Last year we went to Laoag, Pagudpud, and Vigan. It was a very long trip as our first destination was Laoag.  The Sunshine City as Laoag is tagged is about 2 hours away from Pagudpud to the north and 2 hours away South to Vigan.   However, we had expected Laoag to be about 10 hours away from Manila so we opted to take a quick stop at Vigan to have lunch.  Bad decision I guess because we left Manila at about 5 am and reached Vigan at nearly 4 pm.  Of course we had underestimated the travel time.  It was the holiday season and the traffic was just so bad.  It was my intention to see Vigan at both day and night but not for us to be starved.  Yup we were all starved when we got there.  Our breakfast was 7 hours earlier and at Tummy Talk it took nearly an hour for our food to be served.  The holidays took a toll on us as there were so many people in the area and we had to go resto hopping before we even got a place.  Then, after that, there were so much food for the resto to cook that it took even more time for them to hand our fare.  It's probably because Tummy Talk was not as popular as Cafe Leona and the other restos that we were able to find a place to sit.  Of course there was the usual empanada at the Plaza which later I found was just about 100 meters away from where we were but it was our first time in the area and we didn't know where to go.  Plus I didn't have the energy to look for my companions any longer.

Vigan is a city but it is also rich in culture and history.  In fact it had been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site as it looks and feels like you're taken centuries back when you're there.  Calle Crisologo is a street where most buildings and housese had been preserved.  Though most have been turned into stores and shops, the owners retained the stuff that reminded the visitor of the heritage and culture that influenced ours.  The capiz-shell windows were there, the cobblestone roads, the lamps, the solid wood huge doors that mostly the affluent had in their homes.   Even the shops sold more antiques than anywhere I have ever seen.  The only means of transportation allowed to ply the length of the street were the calesas (horse-driven carriage). The one thing that turned me off were the small piles of trash that the unmindful tourists who didn't care to throw their garbage in the bin and the seeming neglect of the Ilocano merchants who probably didn't want to lose time away from their goods to pick the trash.  Too bad.  Anyway, we didn't stay long there as we had to proceed to Laoag where we were to stop for the night.

to be continued...

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