Calle Crisologo

Probably the highlight of any trip to Vigan is Calle Crisologo (named after Mena Pecson Crisologo, an Ilocano writer), a carefully preserved cobblestone street lined with old houses from the Spanish era – with their red-tiled roofs, thick, white walls, and capiz shell windows intact and proudly showing their heritage to any tourist wandering about. 
Calle Crisologo during the day; I love sepia prints. It makes this photo look even more romantic.


Look at those fancy stenciled ceilings and capiz windows – hubby and I want those for our dream house
The street is closed off to traffic, save for the occasional calesa, so it was a breeze walking around without worrying about getting hit (though I did worry that some horse will kick me or lick me, like what happened last time I was here).
There are many souvenir shops in the city but you can buy what you want here as well, albeit at slightly higher prices. But, oh well, nothing beats shopping at Calle Crisologo – all those abel iloko weave blankets, chichacorn, antiques, and even capiz shells windows from old houses who have no use for them anymore. Make sure to hoard those blankets and bedsheets!
The ground floor of the old houses have been converted into shops

The only mode of transportation allowed to ply the street – the calesa!
I am so gonna buy those capiz windows.
Even new shops and fast food chains have to abide by the rules, design wise.

Walking during daylight is pretty enough but wait til you see Crisologo at night – it is so romantic and picture perfect. It’s probably the most beautiful street in the country, even more beautiful than Intramuros (the lighting helps a lot, I must say).

There’s actually a nightclub along Calle Crisologo – the Legacy Superclub, which I heard, is owned by one of Chavit’s sons. I’ve never been to it though, since I am not really into the night life.

Our good friend Feli brought some period costumes with him exactly for this purpose:

Calle Crisologo is actually just one part of the heritage village named as a UNESCO world heritage site. The village itself extends to about four blocks of ancestral houses and cobblestone paths. Some of these houses are still owned by the same families who built them hundreds of years ago, and most have been turned into souvenir shops or boutique hotels. 

Among my favourite houses in the heritage village is the Syquia Mansion, the ancestral home of President Elpidio Quirino’s wife (he was born in Vigan, in the provincial jail where his father worked as a warden). It’s kind of sad though that while this mansion is well-maintained and houses some of Quirino’s personal effects, Quirino himself doesn’t have his own monument or museum, unlike the other presidents in their hometowns. And as bad luck would have it, the caretaker was on sick leave during our trip so we weren’t able to look inside the mansion (actual poster outside the house gave this very precise reason as to why the house was closed for public viewing).
Another house i really loved, even better preserved than the Syquia Mansion, is the Villa Angela. Hubby and I wanted to show it to our friends but since we weren’t checked into their rooms (they have converted it into a lovely bed and breakfast affair), we weren’t allowed to go inside the house.

You can read about both houses in my  previous posts about Vigan here and here.

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