Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Visit to VIGAN

Our first time trip to Vigan.

Vigan- is the capital city of Ilocos Sur and the seat of the provincial government. The city is located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon and is facing the South China Sea and is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila.

The oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country.

The name Vigan came from the Ilocano word "kabiga-an" pertaining to the plant "biga" which is a tuberous plant that once grew along the banks of its rivers.
It was once a thriving center for trade and commerce among the people of Ilocandia and the Cordilleras. Vigan is situated at the delta of the Abra River going to the South China Sea. This position at the mouth of the river connected to the China Sea has made trade feasible and convenient with other islands and with China. Vigan was where Juan de Salcedo established the Spanish government of Ilocos and was made the seat of the Bishopric of Nueva Segovia in 1778. It became the center of Spanish rule and influence and the preaching of Catholicism and pacification movements in the Ilocos Region.
It's also been called "the Heritage" because of it's antique houses, cobbled narrow streets and calesas.
- the Heritage -

- the antique houses -

- Calesas - the suitable mode of transportation within the city -

Plaza Burgos
was built in honor of Fr. Jose Burgos, one of three Filipino priests who were garroted by the Spaniards for espousing church reforms.




Some said, you've never been to Vigan if you never tasted their famous empanada.
So we decided to have empanada for our merienda.
We didn't go far because there are various stalls just around burgos plaza which served crispy 'Vigan empanada' fresh off the pan. There we also witnessed how they make it from preparation, cooking then serving.

For P35 , we have a hot empanada which is actually a mixture of vegetables with one whole egg on the center and wrapped in locally made dough. The dough is then dip fried in a boiling hot cooking oil. Right after the dough turned orange, it is then taken out of the frying pan and served on a platter with the famous Ilocos vinegar (vinegar mixed with various spices - onions, sili, ground pepper). Hmm.. yum yum! (i think im craving for it now.. i want oneeeee pls!)

-This is how they make the famous Vigan empanada -

- freshly cooked -

- my piece of ukoy and vigan empanada -

- yum yum! truly salivating... -

Next tour: BALuaRtE

Chavit Singson's Baluarte Zoo..

Not just a zoo, Baluarte is an interactive wildlife sanctuary and facility, with the breathtaking view of its dominating scenic boulders amidst trees and greens.

Memorable events such as feeding the animals, petting them, riding the "tiburin", a small horse-drawn carriage, and visiting their Butterfly Garden will surely be an extraordinary adventure for you and your family. What's more incredible is that admission to Baluarte is FREE.



my two boys wid pareng chavit.. lolz

-cowboy momma-

a butterfly kiss

my lil boy trying to catch a butterfly


More photos at:
Baluarte zoo



Monday, April 13, 2009

ILOCOS- Holy Week '09 VISITA IGLESIA

Holy Week '09

Maundy Thursday: (April 9) We left Manila at 2am then arrived in Ilocos almost 5pm... whew! Not a long trip huh!.. hehe

Usually, we only go as far as La Union then Baguio. But this time is quite different coz we had crossed the border by heading Ilocos. And the truth is, we didnt know where are we truly heading since it's our first time and we ain't know no one from there. So we just enjoyed the road trip anyway.

On our way, we did Visita Iglesia (a traditional Filipino custom of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday to pay respect to the Blessed Sacrament)

First stop: Basilica of Our Lady of Charity @ Agoo, La union.

-In front of Basilica-

the church's wall painting that said to have Imelda's face on each angels

me and klyne on the tree house located just across the church


Second: San Juan De Sahagun Parish @ Candon City, Ilocos Sur

-Candon City church-

- inside the church -


Third: Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion church @ Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

This church was built by the Augustinians with an 82-step stairway in 1765. This church gives visitors a good panoramic scenic view ofthe town and the green fields and the blue sea in the horizon. This church served as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution in 1896. The Nuestra SeƱora de la Asuncion Church in Sta. Maria town was designated as a National Historical Landmark on Sept. 26, 1982, and was included in the World Heritage List on Dec. 11, 1993.

Enshrined in the church is the Virgin’s statue made of wood in ornate
sculptural style, with ivory face and hands.

a snapshot of the church from the highway while inside the car

- an 82- step stairway that will surely tire you on the way up..hehe -

- inside Assumption church -

family pix with the belfry on the background

- the most amazing scene- our happy family -

More photos at:
Ilocos Sur getaway

Fourth: Vigan Cathedral

St Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral also known as Vigan Cathedral faces Plaza Salcedo, and is an imposing creamy-white building built in the "earthquake baroque" style with thick buttresses to support it through earthquakes and typhoons. A separate belltower (or belfry) was built 15 meters away from the main building -- so that if one structure was destroyed in an earthquake, then the other might still remain standing. The belltower is about 25 meters high and it is surmounted by a large bronze weathercock that is said to symbolize St Peter.


The first church was built on this site in 1574 (by Juan de Salcedo) and was damaged in the earthquakes of 1619 and 1627. A second was built here in 1641; and the present baroque-style church was built in the 1800s.

St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral or VIGAN Cathedral

- front view of the cathedral -

- an impressive altar with hammered-silver panels -

- the mass goers -

Fifth: Church of Paoay

St. Augustine Church popularly known as Paoay Church was built in 1694 and was completed in 1710. It was commissioned by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo.

This Church is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs. Its facade reveals Gothic affinity, its gables show Chinese elements, while the niches topping the walls suggest Javanese influence (reminiscent of the famous Boroboudur Temple).
Known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines, Paoay church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support. It is an architectural solution to the area's challenging, natural setting. Both sides of the nave are lined with the most voluminous stone buttresses seen around the islands. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church. The walls are 1.67 meters thick made of the same materials. Its bell tower, which is detached from its main building, is made of coral stone. It stands a safe distance away to spare the sanctuary in case of collapse.
the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines

front closer view

Originally, the church roof was thatched; and it is conjectured so that buttresses not only support walls but give roof access during fire and typhoon.

hmm.. nice background

Sixth: Sto. Domingo Parish, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur



- church inside view- taken at night -

Seventh: Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel @ Greenbelt

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