Vigan Day 04

For our final day in Vigan, we decided to check out the various museums in the area.

First on our list was the Syquia Mansion Museum. This was where President Quirino’s wife grew up in, and later became the home of Pres. Quirino and his wife. It was HUGE. The place itself was very well-kept, and the restoration – which was still ongoing, actually – was awesome. A lot of stuff back in the day was recreated, such as the Malacanang dining hall when Quirino was president, as well as bedrooms and libraries within the mansion. Quirino’s old clothes were on display, as were a lot of pictures. I learned that Quirino’s wife died during the war, and his eldest surviving daughter served as First Lady during his term as president. We also saw a painting that actually served as his campaign poster. The poster originally read “Quirino for President,” but after he won, they painted over the word “for.” Funny.

Vigan Day 04 - Find the "For"!

My personal favorite was the stables, not because they were the stables, but because they also housed two presidential vehicles: A kalesa which they used to go to Sunday Mass, and a car – a Chrysler Crown Imperial – which served as the presidential car. We were told that the car was actually donated to Malacanang after President Quirino’s term ended, but during the EDSA Revolution of 1986, the car was vandalized and destroyed because the people thought it was owned by the Marcoses. Tsk. There are plans for the car’s restoration, but apparently, it costs almost as much as the restoration of the entire house.

Vigan Day 04 - Syquia Mansion Museum Presidential Vehicles

The next museum we checked out was the Crisologo Museum, dedicated to one of the families that ruled Vigan and Ilocos Sur back in the day. We learned that Cong. Floro Crisologo was a lawyer who also fought in the Vietnam War.

Vigan Day 04 - Crisologo Museum

We also learned that he was assassinated inside Vigan Cathedral in the 1970s, and we even saw his blood-stained pants, shoes, and sunglasses. They had a lot of children, many of whom are now living abroad (and most married foreigners as well). They are a learned family, with family members studying and graduating from schools such as Yale. One of their children is Bingbong Crisologo, who is apparently an incumbent congressman here in Quezon City.

Vigan Day 04 - Campaign Poster

From there, we headed to the National Museum, also known as Burgos Museum, formerly known as Ayala Museum, housed in Padre Burgos’ birthplace. This was more of a general history of Ilocos, and we learned about what early Ilocanos used (their boat was nothing more than a hollowed tree trunk). We learned about the famous Ilocanos, as well as important events in Ilocano (and Vigan) history, such as the basi revolt during Spanish times.

After that, we made one last sweep of the city proper, and I had my pictures taken with some of the landmarks, proof that I was actually there in the city. I did the whole toursit-y thing of standing beside a landmark and having my picture taken with it.

Vigan Day 04 - Yes, I was in Vigan!

The last day of our trip was also the only day that it rained in Vigan, and it lasted no more than 30 minutes. Didang and I sat on the sidewalk beside the Girl Scouts of the Philippines building, waiting for the rain to stop.

Vigan Day 04

Meanwhile, I decided to snap pictures of the passing vehicles. As you can see, tricycles and motorcycles dominate the streets of Vigan. It’s fascinating because I never realized that hardly anyone on those motorcycles actually wore a helmet, until I saw one motorcycle driver who was wearing one. Entire families even ride on those motorcycles. You can view the entire gallery of pictures I snapped in an album I call Transit.

Vigan Day 04 - Transit

After the rain, we did some last minute pasalubong shopping along Calle Crisologo, then we had dinner one last time at Cafe Leona. We then started looking for “Vigan nightlife.” We hoped to find it at Sitio Bar, but it was practically empty. We made the best of our happy hour bucket of San Mig Light, though.

Vigan Day 04 - Sitio Bar

We headed back to Grandpa’s Inn to pick up our bags, but not after sobering up at Cafe Uno, the coffee shop that was on the ground floor of Grandpa’s Inn. Heck, that coffee shop seemed to have more “nightlife” than Sitio Bar. We then got a tricycle near Sitio Bar, headed for the Partas bus station, and said goodbye to Vigan.

It was a wonderful and relaxing trip, and it made me appreciate the beauty that the Philippines had to offer. It also made me wish that we took care of our heritage buildings as well as Vigan has; it’s a shame that many old buildings in Metro Manila aren’t being maintained, or worse, are being demolished to make way for more malls and condos.

To view all the photos full-size, check out my Multiply site, particularly these albums: