“Discover how beautiful our country is and how wonderful our people are. Time to fall in love with the Philippines.” – Tony Meloto
A few years ago, my husband and I went with my family on a road trip to the northern part of the Philippines. And that was the last time I have visited them. Such a fun and educational experience. We went to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur and we left even before dawn to reach our destination just on time.
My niece and nephew alternately drove while the three of us passengers just rested and slept at the back.
Here are some of the places we visited for our road trip.
This is the the Rosary Garden in the grounds of the church of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manoag. This is a spot that is very serene and is a place to meditate. We made our way to the large statues around the garden and also the big rosary signifying the mysteries of the rosary.
A few hours drive, we reached the Ilocos Region.
This is the Bantay Bell Tower, “Bantay” which literally translates as “guard“ in Tagalog. Though this has turned into a bell tower for the nearby church in 1857, it still is being remembered as being used as a watchtower during the two World Wars because of its strategic location.
Just beside the Bantay Tower is this reddish facade of the Neo- Gothic Bantay Church known as the Saint Augustine Parish.
Here are some Super heroes that we saw on our way, so we decided to walk the grounds and see more.
Another place with public art is the Baluarte Museum and Zoo, which has so much on display. Loved the animals which were a combination of local Filipino and imported animals. It also has a 120-hectare expanse of taxidermy museum. I am not particularly fond of this so I didn’t want to stay long.
Set in the heart of the Heritage Village in Vigan is the hotel where we stayed known as Hotel Luna.
Before it became dark, we visited the famous Calle Crisologo, which is a street of old Spanish structures, mostly houses of wealthy families and Filipino-Chinese traders. This is where you’ll see the famous cobblestone streets and wooden doors that represent Vigan’s image.
The Crisologo Museum and the Syquia Mansion are great examples of architecture during the later Spanish Colonial era. Original structures were built in the 1830s and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shown in the museums were vintage cars and furnitures.
This definitely shows the modern signage in contrast to Vigan and Ilocos Sur vintage backdrop.
A walk in the cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo at night time may seem romantic, especially if you are riding a horse and carriage or kalesa. But also maybe not…because it is now lined up with restaurants, souvenir shops and antique shops.
And before we ended our day, we went to Plaza Salcedo and saw the Dancing Fountain amidst cheering and clapping of locals and tourists alike.