Vigan Journals

Olde worlde Spanish Colonial charm

A February 2003 trip to Vigan by perrytoo

Quote: Vigan is one of the Philippines few world heritage sights. It doesn’t live up to expectations, but is a great place to spend a few relaxing days en route north.

Olde worlde Spanish Colonial charm

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Overview

Quote:
If you can forget the motorised tuk-tuks, which can make the atmosphere almost as bad as in Manila, Vigan is a pleasant, old-fashioned place. I was woken one morning by the sound of music under my window. Passing by was a funeral procession, with a dozen bandsmen in white and yellow playing trumpets and drums, followed by the hearse on a decorated carriage, a hundred or so followers on foot, and half an hour’s worth of delayed ordinary traffic. People came to their doorways and windows to watch, no one minded the delay, life went on. Another day, I noticed a large shiny chocolate-coloured insect running along the ground as I began to walk up Crisologo Street. Then another. And more. I stopped t...Read More

El Juliana Hotel

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Hotel | "El Juliana"

Quote:
El Juliana is a spacious old building, with flagged stones on the ground floor, wide imposing staircase, and huge polished hardwood floorboards over a foot wide in the bedrooms, which would be worth a fortune anywhere outside the Philippines. The building itself is almost completely hidden from outside by high brick walls, with "no brown out" displayed as prominently as the hotel’s name. An enormous wooden gate, with a smaller door cut out of it, makes it feel like a European mediaeval palace, or at least a Spanish parador. The hotel is conveniently situated just on the edge of the historic centre of Vigan, within easy walking distance of anywhere you’d want to go, although it feels more appropriate t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2003

El Juliana Hotel
5 Liberation Blvd. At Quirino
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
722 2994

Antique shopping

Attraction

Quote:
The antique and souvenir shops are all clustered along Crisologo St, and the old roads which cross it. There are far too many upmarket souvenir shops for the current state of business. It’s as if someone told the inhabitants that now Vigan is a World Heritage Site, there will be hundreds of rich western cultural tourists looking for expensive places to sped their money. I only saw a few things which were definitely old, and their prices were astronomical compared with Manila. Most of the shops had good quality modern reproductions, and were mainly empty. I saw only a couple of westerners, who were gathering information for a Danish tourist guide to the Philippines. But there is good value in the local...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2003

Antique shopping
Crisologo Street
Vigan, Philippines

Historic centre

Attraction

Quote:
Vigan is a World Heritage Site because of the buildings in its old Spanish Colonial centre. To my eyes, these two or three-storey white-washed stone houses were a little disappointing, as the same, and better, can be seen in almost any village in Europe. I preferred the local style wooden houses, which can be seen gently decaying in the villages all along the coasts of north-west Luzon, as well as in Vigan itself. The woodwork is usually weather-worn to a soft grey colour, and round the eaves and windows is often carved. The windows have sliding trellised shutters set with small square panes of capiz shell instead of glass, which makes them look as if they have been whitewashed on the inside, and keep...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2003

Historic centre
Vigan
Vigan, Philippines