If you are on an adventure mission aiming to set foot in every must-see-tourist-destinations in our country, then most likely The Ilocos Region is on your bucket list. The two provinces of Ilocandia- Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, are known for their frugal but industrious people, tobacco industry, delectable delicacies, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sanddunes, windmills farm, and the world class beaches of Pagudpud.
Welcome to Ilocos!
Me, my sister Kenneth and brother Nicko took the Ilocos trail and was meet and toured by my boyfriend Titus. It was fun! And I dearly hope that more travel adventures awaits the four of us.
How to go to Ilocos?
Make Vigan Ilocos Sur your gateway to exploring Ilocandia particularly Ilocos Sur. From Manila there are various bus terminals to choose from that goes to the Ilocos, there is one in Edsa-Pasay (Partas Bus Terminal) and in Cubao ( Partas Bus Terminal & Florida Bus Terminal). I suggest you take the evening trip because it is a long 9 hours bus ride to get to Vigan , there is a 9pm (Pasay) and 10pm (Cubao) Partas trip available. The bus ride cost you around 685/pax.
We took the 10pm trip from Cubao and reach Vigan around 6am. It is best to have private transportation once in Ilocos as the must-see-places are in between towns but if that is not possible there are tricyles, buses and mini buses that ply these towns.
Concerning hotels and where to stay in Vigan, there are many inns, pension houses and hotels located near their town center. Upscale hotels are located beside Plaza Burgos. We stayed in a pension house to save on our meager funds heheh, we paid 800php overnight stay for 3 persons with 3 beds.
Ilocos must haves – sunglasses, spf lotions, summer hat for Ilocos is very, very, very hot!
You can take the morning off to rest once you arrived in Vigan but if you are still full of energy after that long bus ride you can begin your tour of Vigan’s popular tourists attractions. WE didn’t, we took a nap hahah.
1. The PADRE BURGOS MUSEUM dedicated to the life of Padre Jose Burgos, one of the Gom-Bur-Za martyrs near the town center is open Tuesdays to Sundays, please check it, it’s a link to our history.
2. Vigan Cathedral
3. Kiosks & stalls near the cathedral selling an assortment of Ilocos local delicacies like empanada, ukoy, bagnet, sinanglaw, and vigan longganisa!!!
4. To go to Ilocos is to visit Vigan’s Heritage Village in Calle Crisologo.
Old world charm of Vigan
Take the calesa tour of the UNESCO listed Vigan Heritage Village starting at Calle Crisologo (charges P150 per trip). You will see a good example of colonial houses and architecture reminiscent of our Spanish past. The first floors of some of this preserved houses are converted into shops selling various antiques and Ilocos souvenirs.
Nicko & Kenneth checking out the antiques
more pictures of us exploring Calle Crisologo
titus and me
5. If you still have time you can visit the BANTAY CHURCH and BELLTOWER. (This belltower appears in various Panday films), it’s just around 10 minutes from Vigan town center. We were lucky because the caretaker was around when we arrived and allowed us to climb to the top of the belltower!
Let the bells ring at Bantay Belltower!
I don’t understand why some people have to vandalized walls & fixtures like this bell and write ‘x is here’ or ‘i was here’ . It is very disappointing and not amusing to read such scripts. We ought to respect things especially that we are mere tourists to a place. Don’t you people know the lines ‘ take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints’???! Sorry i’m veering off topic here but I really feel so strongly about vandalism and throwing garbage on the streets.
our epic failed jumpshot, we were laughing so hard here!
6. You may also want to squeeze in a trip to the QUIRINO BRIDGE this bridge is the marker that you have truly reach Ilocandia land. Hence our ‘welcome to Ilocos ‘picture above hehehh