Trip to Ilocos (DAY 3)

August 24, 2014

Heritage Village at Dawn

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For our last day in Vigan, we headed back to South to witness the heritage village at dawn. As what our driver said, we will explore more of this village on our last day. So we had to depart at 3:00am at our hotel in Laoag City Ilocos Norte to be able to reach the said village before the sun rises. Thanks to our hotel for serving our breakfast as early as 2:30am.

We reach the village at around 5:00am and though it was my second time, the view was just totally majestic. The dawn made it more romantic and lovely. I feel like I existed in those places mentioned in my History books during my Elementary years.

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We just can’t get enough taking pictures and we even kept on requesting our driver to extend a little more minutes but he said we will be back when the souvenir stores around the village will open so we can buy our pasalubong.

These photos will somehow describe a bit of how I exactly felt and experienced :

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Bantay Church and Bantay Church Bell Tower

This is also called Saint Augustine Parish Church or Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Caridad located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. Imagine how blessed you are standing in a belfry that was constructed around 1591-1592. Woaa!!

We were lucky enough to have such kind of sky photobombing our photos.

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To complete your experience, you have to be at the top of the belfry to see the beautiful town of Bantay in the morning. I was quite nervous going up since the wooden stairs were quite old already. So I suggest that if you want to go up the belfry and you are a big group just like ours, you should divide your group and decide who will go first.

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More photos :

The Hidden Garden

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It was around 7:00 am when our driver brought us here in Hidden Garden. You’ll find a lot of stuff inside this garden. There is a café and restaurant called Lilong and Lilang serving Ilocano cuisine.

We were still full with our breakfast from the hotel so we just ordered that banana flavored dessert which I forgot the name. The place has lot of plants and trees. We saw different kind of bonsai at the heart of the garden.

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Every corner seemed inviting to take more photos. I think this will be more romantic at night for lovers.

There’s this lover’s corner and yes I was courageous enough to have a not so bitter pose here. Haha.

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Burnayan of Ruby Jar Factory

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Burnayan is an Ilocano word which means pottery. This Ruby Jar Factory in Ilocos Sur is probably one of the most iconic potteries in the country. Pottery was introduced to them back to pre colonial times when Chinese immigrants came to Vigan. We were lucky enough to meet the owner Mr. Fidel Go who’s an expert in pottery.

I can still remember our reaction when he was talking about the history of their business while demonstrating how to make a jar.

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I was in awe seeing how he was able to manage that portion of clay given to him by his assistant into different shapes and styles by using just his bare hands. As he kept on sharing stories, the jar his making changes from one shape to another. It was effortless and really cool!

Based on his stories, the clay is dig from the western part of their place. Well, they could be very blessed with such kind of clay since pottery started sometime in pre colonial times and still they got enough supplies of clay to continue their operation up to now. He also shared that a carabao has to step on the clay repeatedly to get the right texture for molding. Then when you got the style you want, you need to let it dry and baked. I have high respect to Sir Fidel for sharing his story to us. Imagine his talking to a lot of groups everyday sharing his stories and expertise for free.

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Just a tip if you are planning to visit here, you wear the right outfit because you will enjoy making your own jar for free. I did try but wasn’t able to finish it since I was wearing tight dress that time and I can’t open my legs properly to operate the potter’s wheel but actually this is more of an excuse because it was really difficult to make one haha!

Also, you must be very attentive and cling much to your common sense when you got the chance to talk to the owner and as to why, that’s a secret. (To others who have been there already, you knew what I mean). It would be unfair to us, if I’ll share it you here haha.

Trivia :

Did you know that the owner Sir Fidel Go is a National Folk Artist?

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He was recognized by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1990 “for his exceptional skill and ingenuity in the traditional craft of jar making thereby significantly contributing to the ervation of the precious cultural heritage of Vigan.”

Pasalubong Shopping at The Heritage Village

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For our last stop, we got the chance to explore the stores in the Heritage Village of Vigan. It was the best time for souvenirs and pasalubong for our family and friends.

Ofcourse I and Ate Bev were on hunt of the famous delicacy of Vigan called Empanada

and ending the trip with that means mission accomplished!

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Time for some random thoughts…

Like what I did with my first major travel last year in Boracay, I will have this random thoughts to end the post.

One word to describe from day 1 to the last day was EPIC. More than the feeling of awe, overwhelm and all, I am deeply thankful to every person who became part of this. Special thanks to our accommodating driver Kuya Dawrin. His the man!

One of the most important thing I learn from travelling, as in from literally riding a van or bus or even in my daily jeepney commute, the journey along the way will always remind me of who is really the real me. This is maybe because, what I see in every different streets I pass by will always let me reflect how it is related to me or how I can handle it if it happens to me. They are probably right that when you travel, you get to know more of your self and it’s the best time to reflect about anything in your life. Looking forward to our next destination! Thanks for reading.

Ilocos trip Day 1 here.

Ilocos trip Day 2 here.

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES :

Round trip Promo Airfare from Davao City to Manila – 1800php

3days and 2 nights Ilocos Sur and Norte Tour Package – 3400php each (Inclusive: Transportation from NAIA-Ilocos-Makati, Tour, Hotel and Meal; except the following)

Day 1 Breakfast – 100php

Marcos Museum Entrance Fee – 50php

Day 1 Lunch – 100php

Sand dunes 4×4 ride – 450php each

Day 1 Dinner – 35php

Day 2 Lunch – 130php

Day 2 Dinner – 45php

Pasalubong and Souvinier – 1000php

TOTAL : 7110php

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