It was scorching hot when we went around Calle Crisologo. The sun was high above our heads and the air was sticky and humid. It wasn’t the perfect time to go around the area, but it was the only time that we had. And so, we did.
Located in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Calle Crisologo has always attracted tons of tourists, no matter the time of the day. With its cobbled pavement and gorgeous houses turned establishments, it is no wonder why people flock in this part of town. A time machine to the bygone era that was the height of Spain’s colonization, Calle Crisologo has an undeniable charm that would embrace you and make you feel like you’re witnessing scenes from hundreds of years ago. Most buildings are well-preserved and merchants are selling cheap (yet quality looking) souvenirs, so I guess there’s really no stopping this UNESCO Heritage Site from becoming a tourists’ favorite destination.
I vividly remember our tour in the area. It was past 1:00 PM, and Mark and I just finished having lunch. Calle Crisologo was just a couple of blocks away from Villa Angela, an old Spanish house where we were treated with delicious meals that were nothing but Ilocano (Cue: Bagnet. Lots and lots of it). We only had a few minutes to roam around, and as much as we tried to take advantage of it, we failed miserably to do so. Most stores were closed, as the street only springs to life by afternoon until late at night, and many tourists were flocking through the few ones that were entertaining customers. Besides, we were constrained by time, having only half an hour to go around. The only things that we were able to accomplish during this visit were (1) buy Bagnet and souvenirs, and (2) buy a delicious Dragonfruit flavored ice cream.
Most of the photographs from our visit were hurried and were nothing but off quality, which explains the few images on this post. By this time, Mark was still very new to photography, and he was having a hard time getting the images that I wanted. It was funny how we’d banter about it, but we’ve learned our lesson. I wasn’t taking many photographs during this time as well (I lost in touch with that side of me for a while due to personal reasons), which makes me itch to go back all the more. Honestly, the short trip to Calle Crisologo was definitely not enough, and although I did enjoy every minute of our visit, I just feel like I just want to see and experience more of what it has to offer. This is the downside of trying to visit Ilocos in three days: rushed moments and just touching the surface of each place. It’s doable, but I don’t recommend it.
From all these experiences (not to mention, personal frustrations), here are the things that I’ve learned from this quick visit:
Never compromise quality over quantity
I am nothing but grateful for this trip because Ilocos has always been my dream, but I guess having too much on the itinerary made a lot of things frustrating. After this trip, I always make sure that I take the time to assess on how long will I spend in an area, especially if I’ve long wanted to see it. Calle Crisologo was one of those amazing places that I would love to go around and just take photos of, so it’s very frustrating that I only got the chance to explore it for half an hour.
Never visit Calle Crisologo at noon
Pretty much because it’s hot and it’s hard to go around. Also, I think it’s better to drop by in the afternoon because more stores are open by then.
Don’t let bad things trample over the experience
Yep, it’s frustrating, but I guess, at the end of the day, all you gotta do is just live the moment and enjoy it as much as you can. Although I am sure as hell that I’d like to go back to this place next time.
When all else fails and the frustration sinks in, just eat an ice cream
Make sure that you try Calle Crisologo’s Dragon Fruit Ice Cream. I swear it’s the bomb!
How about you? Have you visited Ilocos Sur? Were you able to enjoy Calle Crisologo? Share it below. I’d love to hear your experiences! 🙂
More of my Ilocos Trip