Probably, the most recognizable place in Vigan (at least for first timers or those who love travel photos) would be Calle Crisologo. Four blocks of cobblestone streets lined with heritage houses of the families of the Filipino-Chinese traders who rose to prominence during that time of vigorous trading in abel cloth, indigo, gold, tobacco and other goods that were transported to Vigan from all over the North. The houses are simple but picture-perfect with their roofs of red tiles, thick walls, huge doors and staircases leading to rooms of high ceilings and sliding capiz shell windows. It’s like being transported to Spanish colonial times. These structures have survived the Japanese War and passing of time. Since tourists frequent this area, the enterprising locals have converted the lower floors of most of the buildings/houses for business (souvenir shops, restos, etc.) while the upper floors are still inhabited.
No mechanical vehicles are allowed to pass this street. Tourists often go around riding a kalesa. As for us, we decided to walk along Calle Crisologo after our filling lunch at the Empanadahan. I was looking forward to taking night shots of Calle Crisologo. When the street lamps give the structures that line this street a golden glow. Unfortunately, it was only early afternoon with a cloudless sky. Did I say it was scorching hot?
It was good to find benches made from old wood or cartwheels along the sidewalks. We would take a breather and hide under the shadows of the multi story structures. Syempre! Photo ops na naman.
There are restos along the area… but we were too full to sample even at least one. Some of our companions shopped for pasalubongs. Calle Crisologo is a good place to buy souvenir items… from t-shirts, wood carvings, furnitures, keychains, magnets… even bagnet and sukang Ilocos.
We didn’t really get to see the entire stretch of Calle Crisologo since a block at the end of street was closed off because of a birthday party. Neither did we have a chance to see its surrounding area. We didn’t really stay long in a particular town since we have more places to cover and we only had three days. Maybe next time, there will be more time to have a walking tour around Vigan and discover what makes the city one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.