Visiting Vigan, Ilocos Sur (Part I)

By BobbyRica | January 27, 2011

heritagevillage

It’s been a wild ride so far and I and the guys are having the time of our lives. We said goodbye to the Wahines in La Union and decided to continue north along the west coast of the Philippines, to the town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur Province. The spirit of adventure was upon us, and who knows what pleasant surprises awaited us at the next beach!

We left San Juan after breakfast and so we were at Vigan at 10 a.m. Entering the town, we noticed a subtle difference in the feel of the place, something that says age and tradition. There were bigger houses here, with white bleached walls and second-floor balconies. At the heart of the town, the streets were paved with stones, and there were a couple of horse-drawn carriages we passed on the way to our lodging.

kalesa

I learned later from Lakay, our driver, that the place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, owing to the town’s well-preserved Spanish colonial influences. Well, something to explore later on, if we have time left after surfing.

Something else I noticed upon entering town was the strong peculiar smell of what I guessed correctly as a combination of strong spices, in quite a few of the houses we passed. I asked Lakay what this could be and he said that this was longganisa, a popular type of local sausage. Actually, it turned out that Lakay and Barney had planned to take us to a restaurant that made and sold this product.

longganisa stand

As it was still a little early before lunch time, Lakay and Barney thought to show Akasha and me how the sausages were made. Lakay knew the restaurant’s owner, who agreed to bring us to the indoor backyard where the longganisa as well as local vinegar were being made.

It was all very interesting, but man, you wouldn’t believe the smell of the place! Also, seeing meat and that much fat getting into the grinders and shoved into pig intestines got me whoozy and almost ready to puke. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach and get rid of that smell!

longganisa

During lunch, we of course tried the pungent sausages. (It turned out to be not so bad.) Fortunately, there was also the bagnet (which has slowly become one of my favorites) and fish and vegetables.

After lunch, I and the boys just couldn’t wait to hit the water! Keep posted for our surfing experience in Vigan.

(to be continued)

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