Personally, if I am to do this travel alone, I would have stayed longer and watch the three day festivities of the Surfing Break, but because I am with a companion who cannot stay that long, I had to cut my trip short. Ria told me I could stay longer if I wish to do so, after all, she is much older than I am and she can certainly travel home alone, but because part of the reason of her coming with me was for her to visit Vigan City, I cannot really come with her to Vigan City, let her take the bus home with me dropping off in La Union. It was also my choice for us to travel home together, simply because we traveled together in the first place.
As a college professor, she has to be at the University in time for the enrollment (second semester), so we decided to use Day 4 as our last day. From our house in La Union, we left around 6AM so we can visit as much places as we wanted.
Asuncion de Sta. Maria Church (Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur). Our first stop. The first and the last time I visited this church was in 2008, and it was really part of my plan to visit this church this year, so I found it really beautiful that I wouldn't be visiting alone. We took our time checking the place, even walked to the back part of the church, and as we were about to leave, we were able to talk to a nun who let us in the convent. It was a very good start.
It was quite difficult to get a bus from the town because from what I know of, there were two roads, and sometimes, if there were no passengers getting off in front of the church, buses would not really take the route near the church. Ria and I walked to the diversion road, so that even if the bus would pass by the highway or by the church, we would be able to see it. It was quite a long wait, but we were happy to catch a Viron Transit bus straight to Vigan City.
Felicitas Kusinas at Grandpa's Inn (Vigan City, Ilocos Sur). Our first stop in Vigan City was actually the pottery factory owned by Fidel Go, but it was really unfortunate that we got there exactly 12NN, which is the start of the lunch break. Since we were quite hungry as well, we decided to head straight to Grandpa's Inn to eat lunch. We had the Igado and the Pinakbet with Bagnet, two of the well known Ilocano dishes.
Bantay Church (Bantay, Ilocos Sur). With tummies full, we resumed with our itinerary. We took a tricycle to the Bantay Church, since this was a very known landmark. Often mistaken as part of Vigan City, this church has got to be one of the most interesting churches I have seen - one, the main image in the altar can be rotated to face church visitors who walked to the back of the altar... two, there were church staffs touring people around, and three, visitors can climb up the bell tower to see a good panoramic view of the place. Unfortunately, visitors tend to be abusive with the perks, that they leave hideous marks on the floors and on the bells (as well as the walls). I really cannot understand the reason for them to do that - ruining centuries old materials - the guides were very apologetic about that... saying even if they clean the bells, and even if there were guides going up the bell tower with guests, there were still people leaving vandals especially if they came in big groups. Sad, really.
St. Paul Metropolitan Church (Vigan City, Ilocos Sur). From one church, we went to another church, this time we entered the Vigan Cathedral. There was a celebration that time, so even if we weren't able to roam around and we weren't able to take pictures to our heart's content, I was still happy because it was my first time to see the bishop.
Padre Burgos House. From the Cathedral, we walked to Padre Burgos House, which was turned into a museum. We just gave it a quick tour, took pictures, and left afterward.
Baluarte. One of the places in Vigan Ria wanted to see was the Baluarte because she knew there were a lot of animals there. Although we weren't able to have a picture next to the tiger (both of us were a bit scared and wouldn't want to pay the fee), and that weren't able to take pictures of butterflies (there weren't that much butterflies to begin with), we were able to touch different caterpillars, and we were able to pet some animals - including this camel, which is one of my favorites here in the zoo.
The Perfect Cup. We were supposed to go to Crisologo Museum, but it was already closed, so we just went to Crisologo Street to get some refreshments. Ria told me she will treat me out for some cakes and coffee, so I took here at the Perfect Cup. It was sad that they only had the blueberry cheesecake available, but it was still a nice snacking time for us.
Crisologo Street. We then took the time to shop for souvenirs and gifts, as well as enjoy the good view of the rustic street. Highlight of it maybe, was that I was able to sit in my favorite bench. :)
Cafe Leona. We decided to have an early dinner so we can go to the bus terminal earlier. We weren't able to eat outside of the restaurant and that it took quite a long time before we were served our foods, but eating at Cafe Leona proved to be a good idea, because not only did we get to eat good food (which was worth the wait), the waiting time did give Ria a chance to check her list. Seeing she forgot to buy one thing made us go back to Calle Crisologo.
Halloween Street Party. We were just about to leave Calle Crisologo, when we realized that the Halloween Street Party was just about to start. We still had time, so we watched it for quite sometime before leaving.
Since roads were somewhat closed because of the street party, we were glad to still be able to get a tricycle going to the bus terminal. Around 9:30PM, the bus rolled, but because there weren't that much passengers, I decided to take the seat behind the driver, while Ria sat behind my seat. Owning two seats for ourselves was a good thing to have - we can stretch and put our bags in the seat if we wanted to.
It was a very great vacation, and I was extremely happy to have shared the moment with Ria.
*** Jenn ***