Nuffnang Ad

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Three Roadtrip Days in Ilocos [Part 1/2]

[Part 1]

Date: September 19-21, 2009
Destination: Candon/Vigan cities, Ilocos Sur and Batac/Laoag cities and Bangui/Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Travel via: Van (Nissan Ur Van)

The famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur

FIRST DAY: September 19, 2009

This will be one of my longest land trip I've experienced. My trip to Ilocos was also great and memorable. I considered myself as "hitch" wherein it was a team bonding of my friend and co-worker where she invited to join them. We started our trip at 2AM on first day and we immediately felt asleep. After few hours we already reached La Union and took some stop over for call of nature sessions. We drove again until we reach our first destination in Ilocos.

Trivia: Driving to Ilocos usually take 9-12 hours depending to the destination you're heading to. There were several buses plying to Ilocos. These are Partas, Florida, Viron, Dominion Bus Lines, Fariñas, Maria De Leon and a lot more. Rates depend on the route, class (Deluxe or Regular) as well as on the bus companies. But the easiest is via plane. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express fly to Laoag daily and it only took 50 minutes. So there's huge amount of savings. Travel to Ilocos depends on you: If you want a roadtrip experience and eats more of your time, try land transporatation; and if you want faster connection and lesser time consuming, do it via airplane. :)

First Destination: Candon City, Ilocos Sur

We arrived at Candon by 10AM and we visited to one of the team's homeplace. The moment we arrived to her place, we were greeted by her sister who was very accommodating. We took some rest and ate brunch (breakfast + lunch).

Time to eat at Candon!

me and Bjed

our heavy meal!

for dessert, royal bibingka


After we ate our lunch, we roam around Candon city. We went to the following places in the city:

1. Candon Church (Saint John de Sahagun Parish Church) - the city's patron saint


up close

picture first before we enter

church interior

picture again

Last Supper at the ceiling of the church

2. Plaza and Empanadaan - located right beside the church. They also sell empanada here.

Abaya Monument

Candon Civic Center

Candon Empanada

They made it...

They cooked it...

They served it...

We tasted it! :)

Mangan tayon! (Let's eat!)

3. Candon City Hall - their seat of government.

City Hall main building

4. Pasalubong Center -  Candon is the capital of chichacorn and kalamay and they put up the stall across the plaza. We bought some pasalubongs at lower price. We also haggle and do some bargain hunting. :)


choose you want! :)

We went back to the house and take a rest for it will be a long roadtrip once again. They also say that it was their long, longer journey up north.

SECOND DAY: September 20, 2009

The next day, we woke up at 5AM to prepare ourselves for a roadtrip up north. We left Candon City at 6AM and passing different towns of Ilocos Sur and reached Banaoang Bridge.

we passed first Ilocos Sur coastline

there's a small island there!

the famous Banaoang Bridge

Do you remember a movie that was shot here? :)

Next Destination: Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

The city is famous for preserved historical landmarks and sites. It 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. (Source: Wikipedia)

The welcome sign that will greet you in Vigan

I was really excited to be in Vigan because I am a fan of history and eager to see those old structures and sites that drives you on memory lane. The moment we entered the city, I felt joy in my heart that once I learned this during school be with my own eyes in the next few minutes. This was the same old feeling during my previous travels to other provinces (see my previous blogs) :) 

It was Sunday that time and many people roamed around the city including us tourists and we went to different places of the city. Here are some of the following:

1. Vigan Cathedral / St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral - the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia (the original name of Vigan).

the cathedral

the cathedral, up close

the bell tower

the history marker

inside the cathedral

we heard mass

2. Plaza Salcedo / Ilocos Sur Capitol - dedicated to the memory of the great conquistador Juan de Salcedo. It is also the site of Gabriela Silang's public hanging in 1763. Located in front of the Vigan Cathedral. It is place where people took rests and great place to see people selling empanada. Right across the capitol is the capitol building where their governor's office. Their current governor is the famous Luis "Chavit" Singson.

the capitol building

the plaza and the capitol

the plaza and the capitol across

3. Restaurants with unique historical designed structures - they patterned on what Vigan's famous for.

Jollibee and Chowking (not quite shown)

McDonald's church like structure

Max's Restaurant

Tongson's Royal Bibingka

4. Balaurte - or fortress is a must-see attraction for first time visitors, and even for those who have visited Vigan before. The reasons for its being on the list of places to visit are two. First is that it has a mini zoo with animals from other countries and others endemic to the Philippines. It is a private collection and is therefore continuously being improved. The second reason is that it is owned by Mr. Chavit Singson, a well-loved son of Vigan and well-known to most Filipinos and foreigners who follow the Philippine political scene. (Source:

Welcome to Baluarte

Many visitors here

The famous logo

That's Baluarte!

Welcome to Baluarte!

feeding the camel

look those lovely birds

the welcome sign

What's good in here is that entering the place is free! No entrance fee!! :)

5. Calle Crisologo / Vigan Heritage Village - Also known as the Mestizo District, it is what Vigan City is known for—streets lined with Spanish Era ancestral houses (with ancient tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, balustrades and azoteas in varying Spanish, Mexican, and Chinese architectural styles) and cobble-stoned streets, which led to Vigan's inscription in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourists can buy souvenirs or even ride a calesa (horse-drawn buggy). The Heritage Village mostly covers two streets: Plaridel Street and (mostly) Mena Crisologo Street. (source: Wikipedia)

on memory lane

Welcome to Calle Crisologo

some structures

old structure turned into a hotel

preserved its beauty

the famous Cafe Leona on antique house

buy some souvenir at Escolta de Vigan

souvenir shops at antique house

picture on a carriage


with a calesa

Tip: This is one of the best part when touring Ilocos. Great photos to be taken so make sure you had your best shots. Cobblestones will see along the streets that will bring you to Spanish era. Shops, shops everywhere. But here's a tip: check the product. Some were seen in some other areas particularly in Divisoria (in Manila) or in other common markets. Check the authenticity of the product you are buying. Do some haggle too. Ask by using a dialect, Mano daytoy (How much? in Ilocano) will tell you a story. :)

6. Marsha's Delicacies - great pasalubong from Ilocos Sur. Their famous product was Royal Bibingka and Cassava Cake. This was located along National Highway in Bantay, Ilocos Sur

found along the way 

their logo

buy some pasalubong

select.. select...


After that, we went to Ilocos Norte. It took us more than 2 hours until we reached the first destination. But on this blog, it will first end my presentation for Ilocos Sur. Many activities happened for these two cities: Candon and Vigan and we really enjoyed it. But expect to see many activities on my next posting. But for the mean time:

Welcome to Ilocos Norte!

Continue to Part 2 of our never ending Ilocos Roadtrip! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other Links

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...