Life is the sum of experiences that we encounter as go through life. Day to day to struggles and triumphs are experienced by all of the world's creatures. As human beings, when we encounter a challenge, we have freedom to choose how to react. Every decision that we make leads us down another road. We will never come to exactly the same crossroads. Every decision the we make has significance. The tiniest choice that is made reverberates throughout the entire universe.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vigan-Laoag-Pagudpod Roadtrip Series I Day 1 (Part 1)

Cobblestone streets, unique landscape, oriental building designs and ancestral houses are some of the amusing setting in VIGAN, the capital of the province of Ilocos Sur.  

We arrived at Vigan @ exactly 12:30am. It was the longest road trip I've ever experienced with cousins.  We were 9 plus the 2 drivers who drove all the way from Manila up North of the country. Tataya ko lahat ng sweldo ko, pustahan lahat kami namaga at nangapal ang pwet sa kakaupo oh! Sinong hinde?!

We left Manila around 5pm {Friday} and reached Vigan {Saturday}. We did not book for any room or hotel coz originally, we planned to just sleep at the service then upon sunrise, we will go directly exploring VIGAN's tourist spots.

So, some just agreed to sleep at the van  while four of us chose to sleep inside the church in BALUARTE NI CHAVIT, with other tourists also. {Mahirap sa van, nakabaluktot, pero mas mahirap ata sa loob ng simbahan kasi ang kasama mo ay mga taong malakas pa humilik kay Harry, the Tiger! hehe}!!!!

Saan kami naligo? Ahm, next question please oh. KAW NAMAN! Hahaha.....

Welcome to my hacienda

Aside from the photo op, everyone can interact with different animals. You can actually feed animals, petting them, ride the "tiburin", a small horse-drawn carriage, you can watch an animal show or simply visit the Butterfly Garden. 

Dahil maaga pa, hindi pa nila ina-allow na palabasin si HARRY. At 10am pa daw siya pede mahawakan at pwede magpa- picture. So, pinicturan na lang namin siya while at his cage... Artista! Daig pa si Chavit!

Harry, harry, Yellow kaba? Dilaw kasi ng mga pangil mo eh. GRRRR!

Baluarte is 80 hectares of gently rolling terrains, hills and mountain sides, the structures of facilities and amenities, its phases of construction is in its best possible realistic and natural habitat for good and sound animal care.

Baluarte is open to the public and admission is FREE
It is actually Governor Chavit's gift to the people of Vigan where residents are accorded free use of spaces for their livelihood programs. 


After an hour of walking and picturan, we decided to hop to our next destination, the Calle Crisologo! Kaso, mukang naligaw kami ng onti palabas. Tiempo naman malapit lang at nadaanan namin ang Hidden Garden {w/c supposed to be our last stop}.

Before we embark to this roadtrip, I've read some of the relevant blogpost about Vigan specifically about this place. Some of them, would tell like "you can do nothing on here" or the place is for photo op only. Malamang mali na naman ko ng pagbasa. Tsk..tsk.. Kasi hindi iyon ang naabutan namin eh.. Well, I'll just leave it for you guys to judge.  

on - the - go.

Oh, did I introduce this guys to you? That's kuya Edwin and Kuya Jericho, our drivers slash tour guide na rin. While sipping cup of coffee.
Wala ata kaming pinalagpas na sulok ng garden na to.. Lahat may project kami
Hidden Garden is approx. 10mins from Baluarte Ni Chavit. 

Upon exploring the beauty of the garden, I have acquired some learning {Me ganon?!}. The garden has its beauty and charm to attract more guests. It has collections of wide array of plants, flowers, crafts and souvenirs too. At first, aakalain mong garden lang, with huge spots to take pictures on. Pero hindi pala. 

We're about to continue through the pathway when someone yelled, wala na jan. Tapus na. And so we continue to other side instead and we found this nipa restaurant which serves coffee {ng Benguet, sabi nila}, chocolate, Fresh fruit shakes/ juices and Empanada {na ayon sa pagkakarinig ko sa waiter ay not available that time}. 

We ordered coffee and fruitshakes that time. But due to overwhelmed visitors, some of us decided to take it out na lang dahil sa tagal. {Nainip lang}.

Nagiisa lang si kuya who takes order of fruitshake and at the same time siya din ang gumagawa. O diba. multi-tasking si kuya. Hampered! But I heard, they cater the best of Vigan delicacies here. Hindi na nga lang kami kumain. Wala sa itinerary. Charot, La lang budget! lol

Nevertheless, the Hidden Garden is not anymore hidden, it is now WELL-KNOWN and a MUST- SEE rural escape.
Refreshing, relaxing, and very rustic feeling. Lahat ng word which starts with "R". GO!  

Dagdag kayo ng tao ha.. peace :p

POT and more POT and more POTS........ 

We are on the last {first half} part of this post entry. 
This time we went to Pagburnayan, place in Vigan where you can locate a Jar Making factory.

The Ilocano jar called “burnay,” used for storing the local vinegar, local wine “basi,” and “bagoong” and as a decorative ware, is produced in factories using the pre-historic method in the southwestern end of Liberation Avenue in Vigan.

Nung una, nagdadalawang isip pa kami kung yung napuntahan namin eh Pagburnayan. As I recall, parang walang malinaw na signage aside from medyo matao. 

Mavic had a chance to make a simple pot on her own.. hehe. A good experience with audience pa ha. Super laugh kami kasi ang kulet niya. Ang ingay! 

Mavic: uh..uh! Hala, nasisira na, kuya! (Kuya, binasa muli at hinulma ang korteng putik}!
Audience: Sige lang, ayusin mo lang... 


Mavic: {Tuloy pa rin ang pag- ikot, pag kalikot sa putik ng biglang!
Pak! Actually ito daw talaga ang ang gusto niya ma achieved! Hahaha.. POT-AY!

Ganitong itsura.. ang AYOS naman pala eh ng finish product! 

At bago tayo matapos ito ang pinaka malufet na sculpture/ masterpiece na nakita ko while in first day in Vigan!
*wag madumi isip*

Guys, dahan -dahan lang. 
I share ko lang.. 
Wholesome naman ko since day 1, right. 


From Hidden Garden and Pagburnayan artistry 




  1. Nagulat ako pagkakita sa mapa. I cannot imagine na nilakbay namin ang almost Northernmost/ tip part of the Phils. Abangan niyo pa ang marami ko pang post esp. the Laoag part! My fave! at ang dahilan bakit ako napaiyak sa roadtrip na to.. Thanks!

  2. I always want to go to Vigan, after na siguro sa Sagada. nice one Mitch! =D

  3. siguro kaya ka napaiyak e dahil sa sobrang layo ng ilocos hay, been also to vigan but missed baluarte et al awww!!

  4. Inggit. Antagal ko ng gusto ng ganitong series na trip. Sana may mag invite na travel friends. :D

  5. Gusto ko makabalik dyan! Dapat nga this summer kaya lang ang dami naming naka schedule na lakad. Baka next year na lang. Tagal na din nung huli kaming nakapunta dyan di pa ako nag ba blog nun.

  6. Great post and photos, Mitch! I'd been to Vigan but that was so many years ago. I want to go back and include Pagudpud also, sana soon. Hehehe. I'll wait for your post on Pagudpud.

  7. Orville: This trip is so worth the mile! A dream come true. Ay taray.. Gusto ko din mag Sagada eh.. Anu ba mas malayo?
    Mcrich: haha, no. I cry because of real something deep pa. hehe.

  8. Elal: Uy, nagpaparinig sa series trip! hehe
    T: I wonder why what "T" stands for. Maybe it's time to go back to Vigan, marami na siguro nagbago from then... I'll post Pagudpod on the couple next days..

  9. nyahaha.natawa ako don sa last picture.Nice photography couple with good-sense-of-humor-narration. OI would like to add din,you are lucky to have a lot of cousins na halos kasing edad mo,kasi pareho kayo ng trip for the most part for sure.parang isang malaking barkada lang.hehehe

  10. bilib ako sa mga gumagawa ng jars....

  11. Parang ang cool ng pottery experience! Demi Moore ang peg! :)

    I replied to your comment sa blog. Thanks for visiting! :)

  12. Bet ko yung shot nyo sa BALUARTE yung tig-iisa kayong post sa letters... model model-an lang ang dating. Daming gala ni Mitch! Ang saya! (inggit lang here...) hahaha! Sana matuloy kami dyan this July... Abangan ko yung next part...

  13. Heto't nag-enjoy na naman ako sa post mo Mitch! Been to Ilocos Sur and Norte twice but haven't been to Baluarte, lighthouse at dun sa malalaking electric fans. Lol! Can't wait to see your cinematic shots esp. in Patapat viaduct. Ganda dun!

    Good for you that you have tons of cousins with same trip as yours.

    Hmmn, ikaw ha... you have keen eyes for masterpieces pala! Haha..

    Na-check ko na pala lahat ng kind ng reactions. funny, interesting, cool, at bongga sa kulit. hehe.. joks only!

  14. ang kulit talaga ng mga food names sa ilocos! shempre i got one of those shirts too, pero ibang design lang :P

  15. Anton: Nice photography ba? hehe.
    First trip ever ito ng mga cousins. Actually, marami pa ang lahi namin, hehe. kami nga lang ang natuloy. hehehe.

    Arvin: Grabe, ako din. Ang titibay ng binti nila para paikutin yung parang machine para makagawa ng jar.

    Ate Bee: Cool and new exp. to all of us. Kahit sis ko lang ang nag try. We really did enjoy the whole exp. Thank for being so nice to me pati sa blogs mo. marami ko natututunan!

  16. Thanks Ate Bee for making time to visit here sa wala wenta kong blog. hehe. I believed, Patapat Viaduct is one of the most photographed in Ilocos, right?
    Perfect for a backdrop!

    Glad: Sige abangan ko yang trip niyo na yan sa July. Gora lang habang nasa gala mode pa at a young age. :)

    Kuya Christian: hehe, fave ko lang naman ang Kabatiti! hehehe. Period!

  17. You have some really good pictures here. I didn't know the entrance was free! Galing naman ni Pareng Chavit hehe. Did you get to pet Harry? He is sooo cute! A very big miming!

  18. Aleah: Kaya nga, we're quite surprised that it's all for free! Lahat ng taong walang inn pede dun magpa ampon or pede mag stay overnyt.. hehe. Unfortunately we never got a chance to hand Harry. We have to leave soon though.


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