Friday, October 05, 2012

History Overdose in Ilocos Sur

Calle Crisologo at daytime

Upon setting foot on the cobblestone stretch of Calle Crisologo & seeing calesa everywhere, you will definitely feel separated from the modern world.

I regretted not wearing baro't saya & bakya. Should definitely do that next time.

New establishments around adapt to this historic place.
I saw hotels &  foreign restaurants like Max's Restaurant and McDonald's did.

Calle Crisologo at night
Along the stretch of Calle Crisologo, only horse-drawn carriage are allowed.
Aside from helping preserve the cobblestones, it also adds to the feel of the place.

K & I explored Vigan and other neighboring places with one of the kalesa lined up near the Cathedral.
There's a drawback though. It's a bit slower than motorcycles/motorbikes.

St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
 The first Vigan Cathedral was ordered and built in 1574 by Juan de Salcedo. 
Another version of the church was again constructed in 1641 but was unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake. 
A reconstructed church was gutted with fire in 1739. The current church was constructed in 1790 and was finished in 1800. The church itself became a cathedral when the seat of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia was transferred from Cagayan to Vigan. (source: Wiki)

Bantay Church (Bantay, Ilocos Sur)
Bantay church has 2 names:
  • Our Lady of Charity Church 
  • Saint Augustine Parish Church

Belfry of Bantay Church (Bantay, Ilocos Sur)
Our kutsero informed us that the belfry is the location of the old versions of "Ang Panday" movies.

SYQUIA MANSION of Pres. Elpidio Quirino

The Syquia Mansion which houses President Qurino’s extensive memorabilia is actually owned by his wife, Dona Alicia Quirino. Her ancestor was a Chinese who made his fortune in the robust trading in Vigan. Sy Kia’s pride in his Asian heritage can be seen by visitors to the Syquia mansion where they can view a portrait of him with his braided long hair and traditional Chinese robes. His descendants adopted the hispanized Syquia surname later on.

The first lady’s grand ancestral home was where some of the President’s functions were held during his administration so it is not only worth a visit for the presidential memorabilia but also for the feel of the magnificent and historical gatherings that have taken place amongst the elegant furnishings. (source:

Baluarte Zoo (Vigan, Ilocos Sur)

Gov. Chavit Singson has a lot of tigers. I even saw big ones.
Baluarte has tiger show in the morning and in the afternoon. Check it out, guys.
They also have camels. My first time seeing one.
Kids can also ride their donkey. 

Baluarte also has a butterfly nursery. Cool!

I am impressed with the place. Aside from the fact it is quite big, entrance is free.
You'd rarely see places like this with free admission in our country.
 Families frequent the place. They go there specially on weekends and have their picnic. 


The garden has a lot of bonsai.
They also sell plants.

We stayed here a bit to rest and have our snack - empanada!

If you're lucky, you'll meet Philippine National Folk Artist-Fidel Go.
We weren't. Too bad.

But there will always be someone to demonstrate to you how earthen stuffs are formed.

1 - source of clay
2 & 3 - earthen pots are placed inside and exposed to heat
3 - device for forming the pots. This is the one we saw on TV that turns round and round.
5 - finished product.

I  think that one was done in 5-10mins. whew!

 And yes. He is the "BUR" in GomBurZa (the martyr priests)

The museum housed a lot of memorabilias, diorama of some scenes during the revolution, photographs, antique stuffs like lamps, & jewelries.

a lot of interesting stuffs in the house

Father Jose Burgos was born in this ancestral home to Florencia Garcia and Jose Burgos in February 1837. He finished his primary schooling in Vigan but his higher studies were completed in Manila’s San Juan de Letran and the University of Santo Tomas, where he studied priesthood. He showed remarkable characteristics even as a young student; and as a young priest fought with quiet courage for equal rights for the Filipino clergy.

The just cause he took on made him a target of the machinations of Spanish friars. When a mutiny broke out in Cavite, the Spanish friars saw it as an opportunity to get rid of Father Burgos, including him amongst those who they accused as supporting the rebellion. He was tried in Fort Santiago and executed in February 1872 at Bagumbayan, presently known as Luneta Park in Manila. He died by strangulation with an iron collar together with two other priests, Fathers Gomez and Zamora.(source:


Floro S. Crisologo was the patriarch of the clan and a congressman known for being responsible for landmark legislations that not only benefited his constituents but the whole country as well. He authored the laws behind the creation of the North’s first state university, the University of Northern Philippines, and the establishment of the Social Security System, which serves the whole working populace to this day.

On a Sunday in October 1970, while he was inside the St. Paul’s Cathedral, Congressman Crisologo was shot in the head by a still unidentified gunman. Survived by his children and wife, Carmeling Crisologo, the family announced that they will not take any action to exact revenge. Although, they made sure that the life and death of their patriarch will not be forgotten through the establishment of the Crisologo museum. Floro Crisologo’s murder during that bloody period in Philippine politics remains unsolved to this day. (source:

I am a sucker for history and this place is the one for me. :)
There are a lot of museums around so prepare yourself.
This trip is like a history class refresher and I love it!

I may be have an overdose but I still want to go back.
Being able to walk in that same cobblestone pathway where our ancestors have walked is just so priceless.

Where we stayed:

This is just a 5min walk from Calle Crisolog. sweet!
Gordion Hotel

Phone: (63) 077-722-2526
Manila Line / Telefax: 02-246-1502
Mobile: +63-917-568-3330

**photos imported from my multiply account.
Published on November 4, 2008 12:56pm


  1. Suya ko! Colors are so vivid!!! Post more of your pretty pics!

  2. wow ha ... ang iba di ko napuntahn diyan ... kaw na dyd!

  3. Kulapitot, you have another reason to go back. :)


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