As I had predicted, may masamang balak itong asawa ko for the long Asean Summit holiday. He was nagpaparinig na to me slowly eh, the days leading to the long weekend, conditioning my mind na IT WILL HAPPEN whether I like it or not. ;)) Ang sabi ko pa, Honey pagod ang mga bata, maawa ka, pagpahingahin nalang natin. Of course he did not believe my sorry excuse. He knows me too well. :P
And so with his tennis friend Raul who hails from Vigan, he planned our 5-day VIP trip. Nag-viber group message pa talaga sa amin eh. VIP TRIP GUYS! Syempre na-excite na rin ako kahit papaano. VIP trip? Talaga? May sakit ka Kap? Yun pala, ang ibig sabihin ng VIP trip is: Vigan-Ilocos-Pagudpod trip. Probinsya levels na naman tulad ng sinapit ko sa Elyu, ahuhuhu. Shyet, mainet! @_@
We had a brief stopover at Elyu after 6 long hours of driving for a quick dinner. Seawadeeka was our restaurant of choice for its yummy Pad Thai, atbp. Oh yes, hindi pa rin ako nagsasawa sa Thai food even after our Bangkok stint. :P
A new discovery! Leche Ice Cream Shop (right beside Seawadeeka. Must try for the original flavors home-churned by owner Rafael Gilbuena. US-trained, Mexico-experienced, Thailand-worked, Manila-based millenial. This is Rafael’s champorado with dilis ice cream version. Weird flavor for an ice cream, I know, but it works. ;)
Then another 3 hours or so to get to Vigan. Raul was so gracious to invite us to stay with them for our Vigan getaway. He has a BnB, HERENCIA HERMES, that he rents out and gave us a complimentary room for 2 days.
Herencia Hermes, a transient house that has 2 rooms & can fit up to 12 people comfortably, is located at #72 Governor A. Reyes st. Brgy. 8 Vigan, Ilocos Sur (super short walking distance to Calle Crisologo) Contact details: Call 0995 823 5817 or email @herenciahermestransienthouse CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE to see photos of the house/rooms for rent. It is situated right beside the main house & within the gated compound where Rauls’ family lives, so it’s really safe.
Unfortunately, the freon of the aircon at Raul’s place was running empty -and as we arrived night time (around 11 pm), Raul couldn’t get someone to replace it asap, so we went to a nearby hotel instead. He kindly offered to welcome us back the very next day but we had already settled in the hotel & unpacked everything, so we asked him for a rain check instead. Thank you Rivas fam for your graciousness & warm hospitality! :-*
Sometimes, life gives you lemons & you just have to deal with it the best you could. It worked out perfectly anyway. One Vittoria Hotel is really nice, plus breakfast was included in our package so Kap wasn’t so shocked with our surprise expense hahaha!
So thankful we were able to get accommodation even after such a short notice. Staff were really pleasant & courteous. FIVE STAR rating from me for their efficiency & impeccable service! <3
Normally, you can only stay 4 pax per room, but since we looked so weary upon checking in, the management of the hotel allowed us to just camp in 1 bedroom & gave us an extra cot for my Babyson. Buffet breakfast is already included in the accommodation, to Kap’s huge relief lol.
You’d be surprised with the promo rate we enjoyed! We got 25% (and then some) for our 2-nights stay. FIVE THOUSAND A NIGHT ONLY inclusive of EXTRA BED & BREAKFAST FOR 5! With me is the very accommodating, warm, and friendly owner Marsha Chan who will most definitely make your stay as pleasant & as comfortable as possible. She is also the one behind Marsha’s Delicacies, home of the famous ilocos bibingka (upper right corner photo). How good is it? You tell me. I had FOUR slices for breakfast on top of my morning feast!
Kap forgot to give his friend Raul a memo na anti-pawis na ako, anti-pagod pa ako. Kaya hayun, Day 1: Hike up the Pinsal Falls. Take note. Hindi lang sa may falls ha? Kakayanin ko pa sana kung doon lang eh. Sa pinakatuktok ng falls kung saan nanggagaling ang tubig. Dun kami dinala ok!
Us while climbing:
Kap: Sweetheart, ok ka pa? Kaya mo pa?
Me: *Glare of death + no reply + gusto na syang murahin at itulak sa bangin*
Raul:Ano Jane kumusta ka? Kaya mo pa?
Me: (sweetly) Oh yes, thank you Raul. We’re super enjoying, go ahead lang, I’ll manage. (gasping for breath, feeling like dying. Heart attack on-going)
Bubble thought: Humanda ka Kap, pag tayong 2 nalang, lagot ka sa akin, GRRR!
In fairness, maganda naman talaga ang tanawin. I can’t refute that.
But mind you, ito ang tatahakin! @_@ Kunwari lang yang maayos na hagdan. #FakeNews That’s only the trail going to the falls! Eh my adventurous companions, they wanted to be closer to God (literally & figuratively!) kaya yan, inakyat naming ang pagka-kitid na daan, yung iba wala nang gabayan at laglag ka agad sa bangin mahipan ka lang ng hangin! And imagine, we were carrying heavy loads pa ha. Grabeng buwis-buhay ito. Oh Kap my Kap, hanggang ngayon hindi pa kita napapatawad! Ahetchu!
I sear to you, walang halong exage, our climb up & descent was VERY similar to this, up to now kinikilabutan pa ako huhuhu..
Oh yaaaaas, naisipan pa talaga nilang mag-picnic at the very top of the falls, so we had to lug around so many things aside from our clothes while balancing ourselves on the steep climb. Pak ganern! @_@
At tuwang-tuwa pa talaga ang mokong diba? Lahat ng pangalan ng santong napag-aralan ko sa Theology, natawag ko na bago kami umabot sa tuktok ng talon, hmp! Nadoble pa yun pababa, hahahahaha!
Nakooow, wag kayong maniwala jan sa moment namin na yan. Gustong-gusto ko nang katayin si Kap my Kap sa mga sandaling yan! @_@
Sometimes, I really wonder if these people love me, or secretly hate me & take pleasure in torturing me, lol. Ang sarap pa talaga ng mga ngisi nila eh!
Pinsal Falls is located in the town of Santa Maria in the province of Ilocos Sur. With a height of approximately 85 feet, it is known for being the largest waterfall in the Ilocos Region as well as for its natural beauty & romantic atmosphere.
The pools at the very top of the falls (which they of course INSISTED we climb –ayaw ng sa baba lang kami, mga bwiset!) are famous as well. The biggest of these pools figure in a local legend as it is said to be the footprint that was left by an Ilocano giant who was running off in search of his wife. There is also a famous spring with boiling-hot water at the top of the falls.
When in Ilocos, don’t forget to try the famous Vigan Empanada. Not your usual empanada, the Vigan Empanada is similar to a thin taco that is fried to a crisp, with vegetable and meat filling. Rice flour is used for making the crust or the shell. The galapong or rice flour dough is made a day before it is used. Atchuete or orange food color, salt and oil are mixed into the rice. The dough mixture is then kneaded as thinly as possible on a banana leaf. Vigan empanada’s vegetable filling is made up of green papaya that is grated, toge or mung bean sprouts, monggo or mung bean and shredded carrots. Its meat filing consist of whole egg and skinless Vigan longganisa. The double special Vigan empanada has two servings of the meat filling. We had this for meryenda before doing the Calle Crisologo sights. According to Raul, Irene serves the BEST empanada in Vigan – I had 2, what do you think? ;))
Headed back before nightfall at baka gumulong-gulong pa kaming pababa sa dilim. Took a quick shower at our hotel, then set off to Calle Crisologo for some sights, and dinner to cap off a loooong & exciting day.
Calle Crisologo is a heritage cobblestone street lined with picturesque, traditional Spanish-style trader homes. It is named after Don Mena Pecson Crisologo, an illustrious Ilocano writer and politician.
For visitors who want to experience being transported back to this period in Philippine Spanish colonial time, a walk or a calesa ride through Vigan’s Calle Crisologo or Mena Crisologo Street is a must. The tour will take visitors more than a couple of hours and will cost around around 500 pesos (eh di syempre pa, pinalakad nalang kami ni Kap!). You will be guided through 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 lovely subjects ready for picture-perfect shots with their roofs of red tiles, thick walls, huge doors and stair cases leading to rooms of high ceilings and sliding capiz shell windows. Having survived the many natural and man-made calamities throughout the centuries, the families who own these homes have endeavored to maintain them. Visitors can admire more closely the architecture and intricate craftsmanship employed in the grill and wood works when they step inside some of the houses that have been turned into stores and museums. They can even experience staying in a heritage house during their visit as some have been converted into inns.
As a reward for a long & tiring day (as evidenced in the tired faces of my adorbs children hehe) Kap treated us to an eat-all-you-can dinner at Grandpa’s Inn & Restaurant. Kap & the kids took a liking to poqui-poqui, an Ilocano vegetable dish made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and eggs. There was a considerable wait as we went on a national holiday & Vigan (buong Pilipinas nga yata) was teeming with tourists. We ended our day really late. Pagoda!
Hindi pa jan nagtatapos ang penitensya ko, ano sinuswerte si Jane Go? ;PBukas uli, panibagong torture, ano ka! FML.