Vigan Misadventure

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The tail of jinx continued to tag along in our trip to Vigan, therefore calling this post a misadventure. It was very unnerving experience but in the end we still managed to enjoy a very short time spent in Vigan.

On our last night at Cervantes, I was trying so hard to contact Grandpa's Inn to confirm our accommodation in Vigan but no luck at all. It was super duper hard to get a connection through landline. I could do nothing but to cross my fingers and hope they wont give our rooms to anyone yet.

We left Cervantes in the afternoon. This time we will be passing Pasong Bessang. It's not even sunset but you can see the fog all over the place. No wonder this road can be pretty dangerous.

...stop over

one wrong move and your dead...

When we arrived at Bitalag, I finally got a connection. I called Grandpa's Inn but unforch our reservation is gone. Oh no. I texted my officemates in Manila to give me phone numbers of all inns and hotels in Vigan (Thanks Daddy Fred and Mark!). I called every single phone number they gave me but all are fully booked. We even gave Laoag a try but same thing. I told Vanj if we didn't get any accommodation we'll just go back to Manila.

At 9pm we were in Vigan. Some tricycle drivers were waiting for passengers asked us if we already have accommodation. Of course we did't have accommodations yet so we seek for their help. I told them about our failed confirmation at Grandpa's Inn. The tricycle driver said we could give it another try. When we got there, the guard confirmed to us that the inn is fully booked and referred us to Jaja's Hotel. Jaja's Hotel is located along the highway, a few minutes away from Vigan. Hmmmm no choice. We certainly needed a room. So off we went to Jaja's and checked in at the only room available. Whew!

About Jaja's it is basically a no-frill accommodation. For 800 bucks a night we got an airconditioned room, a small TV with cable and common bathroom.

After settling in our room we found ourselves starving. Our last meal was lunch in Cervantes so we went to the hotel's restaurant to order some food. To our dismay the restaurant was already closed. Good thing there were flyers from Shakey's displayed at the reception area. We got one and asked if we can use their phone to call Shakey's. I dialed the number but can't seem to get through. I dialed again. Nothing. Finally I asked the staff if the phone's working. He said yes. I asked him why I can't contact Shakey's? He said it's because you're calling Shakey's Manila and that phone can only be use locally. I asked him why would Shakey's put their Manila phone number in a hotel located in Vigan? Isn't that strange? The staff did not reply. End of conversation.

I tried to call Shakey's again but this time I used my cellphone. Somebody answered on the other line and confirmed to me that there is a Shakey's restaurant located in Vigan however they only deliver til 10pm. If only I've used my cellphone earlier we could have had our food delivered and did not waste time for a stupid conversation with a stupid person who didn't even know Shakey's existed in their very own city.

We were in the middle of nowhere and didn't know where we can get some food. A very nice staff with much much more sense than the fist one said they sell some crackers. Still no choice we bought the crackers. Here's what we had for dinner. We just thought after all the pigging out at the wedding, diet mode naman :-)

We woke up very early the following day. Since this is just a side trip we had very limited time. We made a deal with the tricycle driver to pick us up at 7am. Surely, he was there before 7am. We told him to bring us to a place where we can eat breakfast since we didn't get proper meal last night. To my surprise he said "Jollibee?". I wasn't ready for that. Vanj and I looked at each other. No way!!! There are far too many Jollibee back in Manila and another Jollibee in Vigan wasn't very appealing to us. We told him to bring us to any non-fastfood chains. His answer surprised me no more. He suggested "palengke". Obviously this tricycle driver rarely knows tourist spots in this city. So we were like "Whatever, kuya." He dropped us at some unknown place where stores are mostly closed. Left in the middle of nowhere (again), Vanj and I tried our best to find a place to eat. After a few minutes of walking with empty stomach we gave up and hired another tricycle. We told the driver to drop us at Calle Crisologo.

The driver dropped us in front of Cafe Leona. Still it was closed at early morning. There was Max Restaurant too offering native dishes like Vigan longganisa and bagnet. But we were captivated by the famous Calle Crisologo and we totally forgot how hungry we were.

Calle Crisologo...

...where's jellybean?

Found this quaint little coffee shop hidden along the way. We stopped here to try something they offered.

...inside the coffee shop

their menu...

Vigan torta, crispy crust yet soft like cake on the inside...yum!!!

The camera's battery started to become low. Enough of the picture taking. It's time to buy the pasalubong. Though there were pasalubong available in Calle Crisologo we figured it might be cheaper in the market. So we hired another tricycle and asked to be drop off at the market. Now this driver was very tourist friendly. We told him we're going to buy some longganisa and bagnet. He said he knew a place where we can get them fresh. And surprise, surprise, he brought us to the place where they make longganisa and bagnet. Woot!

a lady making some longganisa...

...finished product

bagnet...ready to be cook

The bagnet won't be cook until 11pm. We need to get back at the hotel before 12 noon to check out so we went to the market and see if there were available bagnet. The tricyle driver was really nice and helped us out in finding bagnet. On our way back to Calle Crisologo our driver spotted a rider carrying freshly cooked bagnet. Isn't he amazing? Our driver followed him all the way back again to the market and that's the story of how we got to take home bagnet despite our tight schedule. Hehe.

Tight schedule as it was, we made it on time to check out at the hotel and catched the next bus going to Manila. Big thanks to that tricycle driver. I'm sorry but we failed to get his name nor his phone number. He is a really nice guy and can be a great tour guide in Vigan together with his tricycle. For a job well done Vanj and I gave him a generous tip cos he really deserved it.

On the bus I remembered something. It's the empanada!!! How can we forget those? I so wanted to try them and find out how good are those Vigan empanada but what can I do? Hay, next time na naman?

Until next time Vigan...


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