Vigan Day 03

On the third day, we decided to go to Baluarte, a zoo located outside the city center that was created and funded by Gov. Chavit Singson. The zoo allowed most of the animals to roam freely, so if you’re unlucky, you might just get attacked by an ostrich.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte

For a zoo with free admission and is open to the public, it’s very well-maintained, and Didang even commented that it was more well-kept than Manila Zoo. We saw an assortment of birds, some camels, deer, alpacas, ostriches, ducks, peacocks, snakes, etc.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte

We had a field day taking pictures of the many different animals, and because they were generally allowed to roam free, it was fun to watch.

The ducks, for one, migrated from the little pond they were swimming in to the shaded area in the open field (where the ostriches, camels, and deer were). One poor duck was left behind in the pond and was quacking, presumably trying to find where his (or her) companions went to. Soon, the ducks were back in the pond, swimming.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte Ducks

And yes, it was yet another hot, hot day. The halo-halo we had at the zoo was the most welcome refreshment we had.

The zoo also had a butterfly farm, and Didang, fearing many flying things above her head, refused to enter. I went in, and it was both fun and scary inside. It was also monumentally difficult to take a picture of a butterfly, and I only had one good shot of it.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte Butterfly

There were also several road signs pointing us to see the “Lion and Tiger.” Yes, singular, though later signs were leading to the “Lion and Tigers.” We assumed there was one lion and several tigers, and we were right. However, even after following the directional signs, we still couldn’t find the lion and tigers. We guessed (correctly) that the tigers were the ones in cages near the entrance, but we were still looking for that elusive lion. Finally, one of the zoo workers, probably overhearing us speculate about the whereabouts of this lion, told us that the one lion in the zoo had died a while back. Aww.

At least the tigers were still around, although they were asleep for most of our stay. They’re actually kinda cute and fuzzy, so I guess I understand Calvin’s fascination with Hobbes, but they’re also huge, and could probably eat us and still have room for dessert.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte Tigers

Perhaps one of the most puzzling details at Baluarte was the dinosaur replicas near the Baluarte sign inside the zoo. I didn’t understand why they needed to include that, but okay.


Also puzzling (and disappointing) was the actual Baluarte sign at the entrance, which promised zebras, elephants, and bears. None were in the zoo.

Vigan Day 03 - Baluarte

Still, it was a fun morning spent at that zoo. I had pictures taken with the camel, which was bizarrely affectionate towards me at some point. There were also various standees of Gov. Chavit Singson posing with a tiger, and we couldn’t resist having our pictures taken with that as well. Anyway, it looked like more stuff was being built, so I can only assume they’re bringing more animals in. Hopefully, they’ll replace the one lion the zoo ever had.

Vigan Day 03 - Gov. Chavit Singson's Baluarte

From Baluarte, we took a tricycle that would take us home. However, we looked at the map and saw that the abel weavers at Barangay Camangaan was along the way, so we headed there first.

Our tricycle driver took us to Cristy’s Loomweaving, where we saw an assortment of abel stuff. These handwoven fabrics came in an assortment of colors, and I took this opportunity to buy a bag for one of my friends. We also got to see first-hand how these things were woven. It didn’t look easy. The “machine” used to create these was made of wood, and was powered by hand and foot (through pedals). One had to be sure that the strings were woven tight, else the fabric would fall apart.

Vigan Day 03 - Abel Weavers of Brgy. Camangaan

From there, we asked our tricycle driver where we could buy longganiza, and he took us to one of the side streets in the city center. We went to a longganiza (and bagnet) processing house. In the mornings, apparently, one could watch how the longganiza was made. We bought our respective loads of longganiza and headed home.

That night, we did what many people (or tourists, at least) did for dinner: Dine outdoors at Cafe Leona, right beside the statue of Leona Florentino. Every night, Cafe Leona has a special menu, and on that particular night, they had grilled foods. I had blue marlin, and both Didang and I paired up our meals with the most appropriate drink: Beer!

Vigan Day 03 - Dinner at Cafe Leona

It seemed to be the quintessential tourist dinner experience, as the tables were filled with various tourists the night before. That night looked like it was destined for the same.

Vigan Day 03 - Cafe Leona

We headed home to Grandpa’s Inn to sleep for the last time in Vigan.

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