UNESCO Site and More in Vigan, Ilocos Sur

I've been wanting to visit Vigan specially the UNESCO heritage site, Calle Crisologo , for the longest time and I finally got my chance :)

From Manila it's probably about 8 hours travel time by bus. I came from San Fernando, La Union so it took about 3 hours. You can take a Partas Bus to Vigan from Manila or in my case, from La Union.

When I arrived in Vigan, it felt so different. For me it was like either being transported in time during the Spanish Colonization (except ofcourse nobody wore the traditional baro't saya anymore), or I was in a totally different place, definitely not the Philippines and then it just sunk into me that I am in the Philippines :)

In the bus station there are plenty of tricycle drivers lined up waiting for passengers. You can hire a tricycle driver for PhP150.00 or about $3.65 an hour to tour you around and even take your pictures :)

The first place I visited was the UNESCO heritage site, Calle Crisologo. Check out this instagram photo I took of the place :)

This place is considered a heritage site because of the preserved Spanish Colonial style structures, in asia... the cobble stones and ofcourse the Philippine Calesa (the horse carriage).

Maintenance was going on when i was there though. An eyesore but I just thought that the next time I visit, the place would look more beautiful already :)

My next stop was the Bantay Bell Tower of the Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Caridad, Saint Augustine Parish, Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

It was built in 1591-1592 and served as the bell and watch tower of the town.

There are 4 bells. Arranged by size from right to left. The smallest one is used for baptismals, the next is for weddings, the next for funerals and the last bell is used for warnings like storms, fire, etc.

This big one that the local tour guide is holding on to is the regular church bell.

From the tower you can see the view of Vigan and sone nearby mountains :)

After the Bantay Tower, my trike driver for the day brought me to the "Burnayan" or the pottery. The pots made here are the local clay pots they call the "Burnay". These earthenware are what they use to ferment our fish sauces, etc which makes it taste extra special.

My dad told me that when he was young, theybhad a big burnay at hone where they store their drinking water and it helped keep the water cool.

After making the burnay, they let it dry indoors for 10 days and then they bake it for a day in this large oven

After the Burnayan we went to the Hidden Garden.

If you're a nature and plant lover then this is the place for you. I just like admiring beautiful and unique lowers and taking photos of them. There a few animals here and there like this big lizard we call the "bayawak"

Our last stop was the Baluarte. The Baluarte is the famous zoo in Vigan. Although it's not your typical zoo with plenty of animals, there are animals walking around freely like the ostriches, llamas, camels and ducks.

They have 3 tigers inside but only one of them seem to like having her head scratched and her picture taken with her mouth open. Her name is Queenie :)

I didn't have the time to go to the other museums which gives me an excuse to go back to Vigan :) by the way, the places I featured today, they don't have admission fees. Only a small donation of even just PhP20.00 or about $0.50 will do.

Legazpi City, Albay

I've unintentionally neglected my blog because I was able to get into a new job which requires a lot of traveling but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to write again but now I'm back from outerspace!!

I was given a 5 day thing in the beautiful city of Legazpi! This is where the perfect cone shaped freakishly active but beautiful Volcano, Mount Mayon

I was lucky enough to be toured around my my foster brothers

Mayon Volcano is considered as the most active Volcano in the Philippines. The last recorded erruption was last December 2009. It is obviousy still active because yiu can see smoke coming out of the peak. I was there for 5 days and it only flashed its full form twice I think. It always hid under a blanket of clouds.

One of the most common places to visit is the Cagsawa ruins. It is a centuries old church top which was the only thing left of the Cagsawa Church. The 1814 eruption burried the church but the bell tower was left on the surface.

The Lignon hill is also a great place to visit when you're in Legazpi. You can walk from the entrance up the hill for fun and a bit of exercise, you can also take your vehicle up, or you can pay for the ATV tour of Mayon Volcano which was what Zac Efron did when he was here in the Philippines.

My friend Karla also took me to the Colonial Grill which serves the famous 'Sili Ice Cream' or 'Chilli' ice cream. It's spicy but cold so it's a weird but good ice cream :)

I will put in a separate post the other restaurants I was brought to :)

One of the best experiences I had was taking breakfast inside a nipa hut, by the beach :)

Well that's it for today, Hope you learned something about Legazpi :) ciao!

Part 2: Laiya Batangas

I'm so sorry everyone if it's taking me so long to update. I just started my new job and I'm still adjusting but I promise to still keep writing :) 

Anyway, this is part 2 of the Laiya, Batangas post. I must warn you that this post is going to be photo heavy. Here's a glimpse of today's post :)

In my previous post, I wrote there that we went on an occular inspection to see what resort, or whatever we can stay in for our departmental planning. We didn't end up in any of the places we looked at. Instead, we rented this house which wasn't exactly beach front but it was stil near the beach. We haven't even unpacked properly yet and we all ran to the beach side already :)
 It was low tide that day so it was really just blah, but at least it wasn't very dangerous to play around even if it was almost sunset
 My junior classmen relaxing :)

 My classmate Dez, threatened to throw me into the water :p
 ....Well he didn't throw me in the water, he just dipped my hair :p
I mentioned in one of my Spain posts that in Madrid, everyone would kill to dance. In Philippines, everyone would kill to sing. Almost everyone owns a karaoke apparatus. In the Provinces, almost everyone has this big machine, which can be rented
 Our Tactical Petty Officer grilling something for dinner...
 ....more karaoke
 ....It's dark already and still, mooooore karaoke
 The next day, there was a procession outside. I forgot what or who's feast it was but I'm pretty sure it's the feast of the patron saint of that certain area. This is very common in my country

Look what we have for lunch: Fried Frog! Really :) It tastes like chicken only a little spicier. Not bad :) I actually like it.
After lunch, we waited for a few hours until the sun wasn't as high up so that we don't burn, and we ran to the beach as usual, and saw this raft with a nipa hut above. We rented it for a few hours so that we have somewhere to hold on to if we get tired of swimming
 Imagine, I'm about 152cm or 4 feel 11.7 inches (yes people, I'm tiny), and the water is just upto there. The water will be just like that as I walk further, and about 15-20 meters away from the shore, the water just suddenly becomes so deep like a trench
 We also rented this thing (I don't know what it's called but it was fun)

 We would once in a while get out and swim and just hang on to the bamboo raft

 Some of my friends would play diving games and pick up whatever from below, like this bottle which unfortunately didn't have anything inside. We were hoping it had a message or something :)
 We all hung on to just 1 "salvavida" :)
 Behind the hut on top of the raft, there were sun beds :)
 Enjoying the water bike thing
Ernest wanted to feel what it was like being pulled by the water bike, so he just floated behind and hung on whenever Dez would step on the pedals

 When we got farther from the shore, as in the reeeeally dark and deep parts, the boys decided to swim around, and I was left behind on the water bike to take their pictures and I loooooved it because it looked like they were on the edge of the world :) These pictures were not modified so that I can show you how bright and blue the water really was

 The water was just amazingly super blue and I will never forget how it looked like in person. 

 Well, I'm gonna float away now and hope all of you enjoyed this super photo filled, and uber long post :) I enjoyed writing this because it brought back some memories with friends who I consider family
- mil besos y abrazos chicos!! hasta luego!! <3


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