Ilocos Series: Calle Crisologo

December 23, 2015

Calle Crisologo, Vigan
This photogenic cobblestone street was formerly named "Calle de Escolta de Vigan" during the Spanish regime and "Washington Street" during the American occupation.  In 1901, a civil government was established in Ilocos Sur where Don Mena Pecson Crisologo served as its first provincial governor.  However, in honor of his demise in the year 1927, it was renamed Mena Crisologo Street -- more popularly known as Calle Crisologo nowadays.

Every time I see a photo of this famous cobblestone street in Vigan on my Facebook feed, I always tell myself, "Someday, I'll be there too!"  And that someday eventually became a reality two months ago, on my and Ronnie's third wedding anniversary.

I was so in love with this place -- even before I first set foot on it.  That may sound a bit exaggerated, but that's the truth!  I have always dreamed of walking through Vigan's Heritage Village with my husband.  Knowing how much of a great fan he is of history, I just knew he would love to be here as well!  

Calle Crisologo, Vigan
Calle Crisologo, Vigan

This UNESCO world heritage site had been permanently closed to vehicular traffic in order to preserve its old Spanish ambiance.  The only way tourists can get around is either by walking or riding a horse-drawn carriage, more locally known as 'calesa'.  And since my husband and I wanted to take this opportunity to have some "quality YOU & ME time" (meaning we don't have a toddler in tow -- special thanks to my brother, Norman!), we decided it would be more intimate if we'll just take a walk and enjoy the place.

We arrived Calle Crisologo at around 1:30 pm, which means we had to walk under the heat of the scorching sun... AGAIN!  That was the month of October, but the weather was still fairly hot.  So if you are planning to visit the place, make sure to apply tons of sunscreen and bring anything that can cover you from the harmful UV rays.  In addition, getting a single serving of their local 'sorbetes' is surely another great way to beat the city's humid weather!

Calle Crisologo, Vigan

Anyway, did you know that Mena Crisologo Street was already established even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines in the 16th century?  Apparently, this street had served as a drop off point of goods brought by the traders from the western and mid-eastern countries and had become the center of trading in the region.

As my husband and I walked, I realized that in some way, it seemed like the "galleon trade" had never really left this place.  But instead of trading Abel cloth, gold, and tobacco, Calle Crisologo is now filled with a number of souvenir shops offering different products that are proudly made in Vigan, which makes it a must visit place for tourists looking to purchase some 'pasalubong'.

Calle Crisologo, Vigan
Calle Crisologo, Vigan

Indeed, Calle Crisologo is a classic place!  Its centuries-old Spanish ancestral houses that lined along the half-kilometer cobblestone street perfectly showcased the rich history and timeless beauty of Vigan City.  Walking through this street would definitely make you feel like you have traveled back in time!  So make sure to drop by when you find yourself in Vigan, because obviously, no tour of the Ilocos Sur region will be complete without seeing such romantic place!


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