The real adventure started the following morning.
After waking up, we checked out of the infernal place and went straight to the plaza to get something to eat. The vendor was kind enough to give us some sinanglaw soup which I found quite tasty. Sinanglaw is basically beef innards soup and is, apparently, a breakfast favorite. At least according to the ice cream vendor we asked.
Now nourished, our first stop was, of course, the ever famous Calle Crisologo.
Crisologo is the tourist hub of Vigan. It’s famous for its cobblestoned road and the old houses which date back during the Spanish times. Souvenir shops line up the street and you’d get your fill of calesas as they pass by. These horse-drawn carriages can be rented for 150 bucks an hour to give you a tour around the city. The street will get pretty crowded as the day wears on so it is better to go there early in the morning. After plying Crisologo for, like, 15 times while eating and buying souvenirs, we finally decided to go sightsee some place else.
After eating lunch–we had some bagnet and okoy–and killing some time at the plaza, I got a map at the tourist office to help our currently directionless meandering. We went to Crisologo Museum but it was still closed so we waited a bit.
Floro Crisologo, according to the signange inside the museum, is the Father of the Social Security System. So it is thanks to him that we have the SSS right now. He is also a war veteran and a lot of his war memorabilia were exhibited inside the museum. Like most of the museums back at home, the Crisologo museum is actually the family’s mansion. As such, a tour around the house would give visitors a glimpse of the old-Spanish life. I had too much fun with the phonographs, I forgot to take photos of everything else.
After the museum, we decided to walk to the Pagburnayan and the RG Jar Factory where they make the famous Ilocos burnay. Basically, these are gigantic clay pots. I would like to point out how tricycle drivers seem to be puzzled to see two people walking. Well, guys, your tourist map did say it was best to go around on foot.
Of course, there were burnays of all shapes and sizes; Light even tried making her own. It was a cute pot. Too bad we couldn’t take it home. It’s a bit dark in the place because the pots are air-dried and cannot be exposed to sunlight; they tend to crack easier.
Feeling accomplished with her pot-making achievement, we decided to walk the rest of the way to the Hidden Garden. ABSOLUTE MISTAKE. We walked about 2/3 of the way there, promptly gave up, took a trike, amd discovered that it was still fricking far. Screw the old guy who gave us false hopes that we were close. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a free cup of turmeric tea. It was piping hot so naturally, I scalded my tongue a bit. It was free because they wanted to melt away my mouth.
True to my prediction, the Hidden Garden was just a really large plant shop. I am kidding, but just a bit because it is essentially true. There were a plethora of shrubbery, bonsai, caged birds, and what I think was a young komodo dragon. At the first fork, you will be greeted by this lovely, provocative lady:
My favorite parts were the bonsai garden and their nice bathrooms. They had a restaurant but we didn’t dare eat because it looked pricey.
The last plant you’ll hopefully see upon leaving is this:
The sign roughly translates to a sexual innuendo which involves touch and the shape of the plant. I’d have to say, they know how to make comedic plants.
After the Hidden Garden, we went back to Crisologo one more time, met with Light’s friends, and went to the bus station to board a bus back to Manila. The next 9 hours were spent munching on chips, and getting neck aches, back aches, amd butt cramps from sleeping.