Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vigan City, Philippines: May 19- May 22

Hello again!

So, after we visited Baguio City, Eyen, Lola, and I took a trip to Vigan! (pronounced Vegan) it was about a 5 hour bus ride from Baguio City. It isn't in the mountains, and the climate was really warm, like Manila. This is the highlight of my trip to the Philippines so far! I LOVED IT!!!

This was my first tricycle ride! The whole town is FULL of them! You won't see many cars. These are how a lot of the people there make their living. 

My view from the front of the tricycle. The tricycle is a motorcycle with a cart attached to the side of it. 

When we arrived in Vigan, we ate at a place called Cafe Uno. Very good!

Lola wanted to take my order. haha

Vigan hot Tsokolate. (chocolate)

This is Lola's dragon fruit smoothie. 

She loves her "candid" pictures :P

This is Binagoongan (be-nah-go-o-nan, which means shrimp paste) fried rice with pork and other meat and topped with red salted egg. 

This is Dinoydoy. (Dee-noy-doy) It is squash that is cooked until smooth and thick. It was the favorite dish for all 3 of us!

This is Pinakbet with Bagnet. (Pee-nak-bet, Bog-net) It is a mix of garden veggies and topped with Bagnet. I have had Bagnet earlier on in my trip, and I mentioned that it is a delicacy from the North. Well, Vigan is where it is from! :) It was very good! (If you haven't read the earlier blog, Bagnet is Filipino chicharones, which is kind of like pork rinds in the U.S.)

Lola Yna enjoying her food. :]

Beautiful woman. 

This is what the streets look like! And you will see a lot of horse and carriages. I have pictures later on of us taking a tour on one! The architecture is very Spanish influenced. (from when the Spaniards colonized the Philippines)

Lola and I walking down the street. 


Now I understand where Eyen gets it.... lol


These are photos of some of the older things in Vigan. A bench and some large bowls they used for cooking. Lola said that she used to use the bowls to cook. Very interesting!

She was showing me something. lol


A picture of us 3!

This is called dirty ice cream! You will see several people selling it on the street. It is in a rolling cart, and they usually have three different kinds. This particular person didn't have the type that Eyen wanted.. 

I chose chocolate!

Eyen posing with the ice cream cart. 

Lola chose avocado. 

Eyen wanted some. haha

They share. :)

We tried each others. haha

She wanted to play the harp... Like a ROCKSTAR!! 

Enjoying the ice cream. 

The city has all kinds of neat things like this place to sit. It was a very historical and interesting place! 

This is cheese flavor. Of course the Mouse Eyen would want cheese flavor. :)

She was very happy! 

Lola wanted a picture with her "new friend" O.O haha

A neat looking statue. I think my little brother would like this lol

A pic of me on the street. 

Lola posing with the statue of Leona. She was a famous writer from Vigan. 

Lola likes this tree. When driving past the mountains, you can notice this tree from miles away because it is so orange!

A statue in the middle of the city. 

A statue of Father Burgos. He is a very famous priest from Vigan who was executed in the city for trying to secularize the church. 

This is a McDonald's ice cream stand! If you want an ice cream from here, you can get one right outside of the store! 

A church in the city. 

As you can see, it is very beautiful! 

My favorite place! 

Can't you tell? :)

Peach Mango pie and pretzel sundae mix in from Jollibee. 

The fountain as we were waiting for the show to begin. 

It is a light and water show. We didn't want to stay after dark because we weren't sure if it were safe. Later on, I was able to see it at night and it was AWESOME!

They call it the "fountain dance". It was really neat. 

My breakfast from our hotel. We stayed at a hotel called Felicidad. It was a nice place but a little pricey. Pictured is fried egg, rice, and tocino. 

This is Eyen's breakfast. Fried egg, fried rice, and beef tapa. Tapa is a marinated beef. 

This is Lola's breakfast which is fried egg (which I ate because she doesn't like eggs lol), fried rice, and chicken longganisa. (long-a-knee-sah). Longganisa is a Filipino style sausage. 

We all decided to have hot chocolate for breakfast. It was very rich. 

A picture of the outside of our hotel. 

We ate lunch at Kusina Felcitas. It is connected to Grandpa's Inn and Cafe Uno. We stayed at Grandpa's Inn for the other 2 nights we were in Vigan. 

I don't like the sequins on my purse, so I decorated Eyen with them. ^_^

This is a stuffed hot dog wrapped with bacon! It's called Cosmopolitan dog. 

We don't talk about what it's stuffed with.... (because we aren't sure *gags*)

Lomo Soup! It is a dumpling soup. 

This is fried bagnet. 

This is Poqui-Poqui! (pokey-pokey). It is like smashed eggplant omelette. It was SO GOOD!! Definitely my favorite from dinner! 

The decoration on our bed at Grandpa's Inn. 2 Swans making a heart. <3 

This is inside of the Syquia (see-key-a) Mansion. It is a museum that is the former mansion of the ex-president's wife of the Philippines. This mirror is from Italy and signifies wealth. This brand of mirror is actually why we have the superstition about breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck... They say that if you break this mirror, it will take you 7 years to save up, travel to Italy, and purchase the same mirror.  

This a portrait of the former President Quirino (Key-ree-no) and his wife.

This was the maids hallway. If guests were present, they were not allowed to walk inside of the house. 

This was a gift from the emperor of China. Each claws signifies something different on the vase. It is worth more than 10 million pesos. (almost 250,000 USD)

Eyen and Lola inside of the mansion. 

So sweet. 

In the garden of the mansion. The grandson of the late President, actually still lives here! (in the house, not the garden) haha

A vintage carriage of the late President!

Myself and Lola. :)

This is a portrait of the late President Quirino. 

Eyen and Lola with the portrait. 

We were able to watch how empanadas were made! (Filipino style) We ordered the Super Special which is like a meat lovers special. (because I'm a carnivore) Vigan is very famous for empanadas. This is from Irene's empanada house. 

This is a tea we found that tastes almost exactly like our tea from Houston that we love! The tea house is called Guil-tea. Very clever. 

 These photos are from dinner at Cafe Leona. We had dinner outside of the restaurant, and the ambiance was neat! Definitely a cool experience.
Our sprite and coke, like always. 

In deep thought... 

I'm not sure what she's thinking here... 


Trying to capture the scenery behind me, but the lights were throwing it off.


This is Gambas on a sizzling plate. (Gom-bus) It is shrimp. 

Awkward pose. 

The lights were pretty!

This is Eyen's breakfast which is beef tapas, Manila style. It is a lot sweeter compared to the regular tapas. 

This is my breakfast. It is fried spam. Spam is not very common here because it isn't cheap here, like in the U.S. 

this is Lola's breakfast. It is daiing na bangus (dah-ing nah bong-oos). It is a dried milk fish. 

Our carriage ride! We took a tour all throughout the city. 

Our carriage is faster than theirs. >:)

This is the St. Augustine Church in Bantay (Bun-thai) Ilocos Sur, close to the Bell Tower. It was so beautiful.  Inside of the church, our tour guide informed us that people will travel from around the world to visit Our Lady of Charity. She is known to provide miracles to people, and that is why she is named Our Lady of Charity.   

This is the watch tower located next to the church. 

Another view of the tower. 

Myself, Lola Yna, and Eyen with the Bell tower in view. 

This is an old casket in the Burgos museum. This was actually meant for the wealthy people. Instead of putting the corpse inside laying down, they leave them sitting in a chair for a while, and then put them inside of the casket sitting up. Those are actual bones!

Eyen and Lola Yna inside the Burgos museum. 

The old school dining room. The cloth you see above the table is intended to fan away flies. The idea was brought to the Philippines from India. It symbolizes wealth and royalty. 

This is an old Chevrolet car inside the Crisologo museum! I thought my step-dad Harold would enjoy this! 

My favorite part of the trip!!! Baluarte Zoo. This zoo isn't like other zoo's because it is free! The governor of Ilocos Sur, which is where Vigan is located, is the owner of the zoo and the animals. It is his way of giving entertainment to the people of his province (like a state), and it later on became a tourist destination. So worth coming here!!

A parrot! 


I got to hold him! :)

Lola Yna with the parrot! Cool grandma! 

Dinosaurs! My first statement was "man, I wish these were real!" haha

I was excited! 

Eyen and myself with the dinos. (kinda... Lola Yna took the picture. lol)

A very large iguana! 

I got to witness this HUGE boa eating a chicken!

nom nom nom 

fat snake probs. 

Remember this face... Don't forget it. This thing and myself shared a moment. I didn't have a clue what it was, but it knew who I was. It knew we would share fate...

So close to a Tiger!!

During the zoo they have an interactive show for volunteers to come and meet the animals! This boy was so excited! He got to meet a sugar glider!

Eyen thought that it'd be a good idea for me to volunteer.. I got the best animal!

Remember that face from earlier? HE KNEW. 

This is a Palawan Binturong. (Palawan is a place) It is known as the "bear cat" in english. It is not a bear, nor a cat. It is more like a large ferret or otter. 

It could have easily eaten me alive...

But he was friendly. 

I could not stop laughing. I thought it was the coolest thing ever!!

I got tail slapped, IN THE FACE!

He actually smelled like popcorn... I LOVE POPCORN!

I actually want one of these now, and it could easily be my 2nd favorite animal... (behind the penguin)

I wanted to play with him all day. 

He came back to see me again. He is my friend. 

Hi there little boy!

This girl got a snake... Cool, but not as cool as a bear cat! 

This little boy loved volunteering! He got to hold an iguana! 

Reminds me of our old pet iguana. 

He loved the snake! He couldn't stop smiling! 

I didn't want to get close to it... 

This is a Falcon from the zoo. 

Originally there were 7 kids, but one of the girls got too scared and ran away crying! Poor girl.. 

They brought out all the reptiles to play! Notices the girl on the right has a snake ON HER HEAD!

This is a devil monkey... I couldn't figure out if he was playing with me or just really didn't like me. (It isn't literally called a devil monkey. That's what I named it. haha)

This is freshly made calamansi juice made with sugar cane. 

Eyen loved it :)

This is a photo of a fountain inside of the Hidden Garden. 

A very provocative looking statue... O.O

With their tubig, (two-big) which means water.  


Selfie number 2. hahaha

They were warning me about something...

This is it.. It reminds me of something my mother would do! lol

A very colorful bird. 

A scary looking reptile. I couldn't think of what it's called. I only remembered that there is one in the movie Rescuer's Down Under named Joanna. haha

This is an empanada from a restaurant inside of the Hidden Garden. 

Watermelon smoothie. Tasted like they stuck a straw straight into the watermelon! So good!

Eyen with her coconut. 

Buko. (Filipino term for coconut.)

Our dessert from Red Ribbon. Chocolate mousse cake!

I know this blog was a long one, but there were a lot of things we did in Vigan! It was a blast visiting there. If you are thinking about making a trip to the Philippines, I highly suggest you make that a stop on your list! A huge thank you to our friend Ana who suggested we go there! So worth it! 

We are back in Manila now, but we haven't been doing much since Lola is in the hospital. They are still running some tests. I know not everyone who reads this is Christian or believes in God, but I am, and so for those of you who are, will you please say a prayer for Lola, so that she will have a quick and easy recovery! It would be greatly appreciated. 

Stay tuned for more food pics to come! :)

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