Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vigan's famed Calle Crisologo

I felt like I traveled back in time. 

Stepping out of Grandpa's Inn after the rain subsided, Ate Bing and I explored Vigan's famous street, Calle Crisologo. This was where the rich and the famous used to live back in the day when the Philippines was still under colonial rule and a flourishing trading system with Acapulco. While walking on the cobblestone road, I was imagining what it was like when horse-drawn calesas were the major means of transportation and not just a tourist attraction; what it was like when the street lamps were fuelled by gas and not by electricity; what it was like when the music being played behind every window were live piano or string performances rather than radio broadcasts or recorded music....

Toog... toogs... toogs... toogs... toogs... 

... Hang on, were those deep bass beats I heard?!? Please don't tell me that there's a dance club in the middle of a street that time has seemingly forgotten. Were they serious?!? 

Oh yes, they were. In the middle of the night, smack in the center of this age-old street, there's a vibrant dance scene. Ate Bing and I had a look through the open door when the bouncers took a break as we were passing by. So that's where all the night owl tourists went after a day in the sunshine. Aha!

The morning light certainly gave the street a different vibe. Tourists were all over the place having their pictures taken, buying souvenirs, riding the calesas like the dons and doñas of old. Calle Crisologo took on a lively and vibrant atmosphere that I had difficulty not joining in, after all, I was a tourist as well.

I ended up with three bottles of the famous sukang Iloco, trilby hats, a table runner and a set of placemats. Alas, Vigan was just a pitstop on our  Ilocos adventure. I'll go back here someday and explore the rest of what Vigan has to offer. After all, it's been more than a decade since I had my last empanada here and I missed it during this trip.