Once in Vigan, it’s pretty easy to get around – by foot, by car, by jeep, etc. However, if you want to go around a little differently, then you can hire a kalesa, or a horse-drawn carriage, for about a hundred bucks per hour. Yeah, it’s kinda expensive, but it’s a fun way to go around town and visit the historic sites 🙂 And you get a free tour guide in the form of your “driver” 🙂
There are a number of places you can go to, but we chose only to go to some. Unfortunately, since the weather was summer-hot (granted that it was January… why is that!?!?!?!), we decided to only go to a few since I was in a cranky mood due to the heat. Yes, it was THAT HOT. 😦
The Vigan Cathedral
When you come to Vigan, you will notice right away the big Cathedral in the middle of the town proper. That is the Vigan Cathedral, or the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site for the town of Vigan.
Bantay Church and Belfry
Going shortly out to the outskirts of town, you’ll find yourself in the premises of the Bantay Church (officially the Saint Augustine Parish Church) and its belfry. As the name Bantay suggests, this is a guard or watchtower against pirates in the old days. It was heavily damaged during World War II and was rebuilt after the 1950s.
Gregoria M. Rivera Memorial Library
This library started out as the provincial jail during the Spanish Era. At the tail end of the 1800s, the 6th President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino, was born in this building. After World War II, this was then converted to a library in honor of his mother, Gregoria. I’ve only uploaded 2 pictures since we decided to just tour the premises and forgot to take pictures 😀
Elpidio Quirino’s Museum
There are a number of memorabilia on display for one of Ilocos’s sons – Elpidio Quirino. From old clothes to even a mock setup of an area where conferences are held, this place is open for public viewing during the day. There is also a display of a selection of Ilocos cloth weaving at the ground floor.