When in Ilocos: Cafe Leona, Vigan

The Ilocos region has always been my most favorite part of the country. I spent a great deal of my formative years running freely and soaring through an old tire swing up in the northern part of Luzon. I also spent most of my summers further up north in my grandparent’s house in Cagayan Valley, a few hours shy from Ilocos, where I’d sit with my grandfather on a breezy summer morning sipping coffee watching the sea, or swimming in it in the late afternoon. So you could just imagine how important the said region is for me and knowing that Tim hasn’t been there sparked up my urge to go back and take him to my most favorite place in the country.

It’s funny, cause our plan was totally spontaneous. We just had the crazy idea that night we were in Baguio, we even laughed it off and we comically stopped and stared at each other waiting for confirmation which we got by daring each other. LOL We can be gamblers in so many ways but so far it has brought us nothing but happiness and further adventure.

So in the morning of Sunday, October 7th, we met with my sister Soleil for breakfast and then we headed to Gov Pack Rd. and hopped on a bus to Vigan. Waving goodbye to my younger sister, Tim and I researched the travel time and well, we ended up laughing for once again not planning our trip.

We rode a Partas bus bound to Laoag and each ticket costs between 300-400php. We got a student discount for one of our tickets, courtesy of my baby sister who used her student ID. LOL The trip was around 5 to 6 hours long depending on how fast the bus driver wanted to go and how many times he wanted to hail for more passengers. We left Baguio at around 12:30pm and arrived in the Vigan town proper or plaza at around 5:30-ish.

We then called the AirBnB we booked that morning and hopped on a tricycle bound to Guimod Transient House in Bgy. Guimod, Bantay, Ilocos Sur which was about 10-15 minutes away from the Vigan town proper. Tim felt it was a little too far considering there are cheaper transient houses around the plaza but seeing how pretty the room was, how nice the caretakers were, and how quiet the place was at night, he was convinced that the 800php per day that we paid was definitely worth it.

But since the transient was along the highway, it was very difficult to hail a transport to go to the town proper but once again, Tim and I were blessed with the first tricycle driver we found and we hired him to chauffeur us around for our entire stay in Vigan. We stayed in Vigan for a good three days and we only paid him 1000php, he would not even accept more than that.

So after settling in and showering, Mang Eddie, the said driver, picked us up and brought us to the town proper where we had dinner outside Cafe Leona along the opening of Calle Crisologo. Tim had pancit as always and he even tried Vigan Express which was the Ilocano version of the well-loved Bicol Express, the twist? It has Vigan longganisa. He paired them with a bottle or two of beer. YUM! I, on the other hand, tried something too common, just to give in to my cravings for Japanese food I ordered their chicken tepanyaki with mozzarella sticks on the side and paired it with a glass of vanilla milkshake.

Shortly after dinner, Tim and I walked around Calle Crisologo. It still looks good even at night, lit up by its equally themed street lights and it’s still pretty busy for dinner time so there were still Callesa’s going around and people doing their shopping in the countless souvenir store that lined up along Calle Crisologo. 

So much have changed, they even have a live band in the bar further down into the street! I didn’t even know there was a bar there in the first place LOL but it was such a new experience in such an old place and being there felt like coming home.

We ended our night with a trip to Watson’s (I screamed–almost) to get ourselves a new set of toiletries. LOL Then we headed home to our transient. Just a quick tip, if you’re going to visit Vigan either get a travel package or go there with your entire family or barkada. It will save you tons in tricycle rides especially at night. They charge around 100 to 150php per ride regardless of how many you are, I think that was a con for this trip. LOL

Here are the complete details of our transient and transpo/tour guide:

  • Guimod Transient House –  Brgy. Guimod Bantay Ilocos Sur along Mac Arthur Highway, MacArthur Highway, 2727 Ilocos Sur – 0927 685 0688
  • Tricycle Driver/Tour Guide – Eddie Pajar – 0927 874 0628 – You can add him on Facebook, too- https://www.facebook.com/eddie.pajar.3 

Thank you for reading! Na enjoy niyo ba basahin tong post ko?

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