The most beautiful street in the Philippines can be found in Vigan — Calle Crisologo.
It was restored to its pre-war beauty with its cobbled streets and old Spanish houses. It is the only town during World War II that was saved from destruction because of a love story.
Legend has it that a Japanese General, who married a Filipina in Vigan, promised the parish priest that he would save the town from destruction from the retreating Japanese if he would agree to take care of his family.
It is not only a preserved historical street like the ones in Intramuros, but it is full of life, especially during the Festival of the Arts.
Our Awesome Planet Vigan Series
- The Secret of Vigan’s Bagnet, Okilas and Longganisa!
- Where is the best place to eat Empanada and Okoy in Vigan?
- Captivating Calle Crisologo in Vigan
Leona Florentino welcomes you to Calle Crisologo.
She is considered as the “mother of Philippine women’s literature” and the “bridge from oral to literary tradition” (wikipedia)
In the Philippine Historical Committee 1958 marker, she is described as:
“Foremost Ilocano poetress,
subtle satirist and playwright. Born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur 19
April 1849. Daughter of Marcelino Florentino and Isabel Florentino and mother of the late Isabelo de los Reyes. Distant cousin of Rizal. A poet at the age of ten. Her
works in Spanish and Ilocano
were later exhibited in the
‘Exposicion General de Filipinas’, Madrid, 1887 and in the ‘Exposition Internationale’, Paris
1889. Her name with a list
of some of her works appeared in the ‘Bibliotheque Internationale des Quevres des Femmes’, edited by Madame Andzia Wolkska, 1889. Died 4 October 1884.”
Walking along Calle Crisologo is a must for every Filipino seeking to understand our heritage.
Calle Crisologo is one of the streets in the Philippines where you can still see and ride an actual calesa. In Manila, you can also do this in Intramuros or Binondo.
Abel Iloko weave is also another signature trademark of Vigan. Simple hand towels are made elegant because of the weave. Most Filipinos buy the table runners, hand towels and the blankets.
(Prices change depending on how well you negotiate. 🙂 )
Calle Crisologo is also home to souvenir shops and interesting Filipino products, like this colorful walis tambo.
Lucy’s is the last remaining Antique Shop in Vigan.
Dr. Vasquez (of Cafe Juanita) introduced me to the world of antiques and showed me how to distinguish a vintage one from a reproduction.
It was awesome to see him negotiate with Lucy for this antique carnival glass.
Lucy’s Antique Shop
#14 Crisologo St., Heritage Village, Vigan City Ilocos Sur
Contact Person: Lucila C. Barba
Telephone: +63 917 5680051
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calle Crisologo is photogenic in any angle. During the fiesta, they sometimes put up 3D photo walls to add to the fun.
Street food like fishballs become enjoyable because of the street ambiance.
Cafe Leona is the landmark restaurant along Calle Crisologo because it is near the plaza. The ambiance is uniquely Vigan, but the food is just OK.
Commercialized restaurants like Mang Inasal are required to keep the old Spanish town facade.
The best time to visit is during Vigan’s Festival of the Arts (around May 1) where the entire street is adorned with Abel Iloko weave and the locals compete for the best Vigan House Abel Decorations.
Also, during this fiesta, don’t miss the Binatbatan Street Dance Festival and the Calesa Parade.
The street dance honors the making of Abel Iloko (woven cloth), a traditional craft in Vigan.
“Batbat” is the first step in making the “Abel” weave, where Ilocanos beat the cotton pods with two bamboo sticks to separate the seeds from the fluff.
The street dance showcases the vibrant colors of the weave, which is distinctly Vigan!
The Calesa Parade is a must-watch for kids. Themed calesas (like this one, honoring the Sinait Garlic of Ilocos Sur) march down the street to the delight of onlookers.
The participants are quite creative with their 3D displays, and they are getting more competitive each year.
My personal favorite. 🙂 It is like a diorama on a calesa.
Calle Crisologo Nights
The best part of the Calle Crisologo experience is enjoying a cold San Miguel Premium or Cerveza Negra to cap the day.
Don’t leave Vigan without experiencing Calle Crisologo at night!
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P.S. I was sharing with Dr. Vasquez that I would love to recreate this midnight street feel in Manila. He also shared that he initially wanted to do an art and food street in Kapitolyo, where Cafe Juanita is located. Maybe one of these days we can bring this sort of ambiance to the streets of Manila…
13 thoughts on “Captivating Calle Crisologo”
Vigan is such a beautiful place…first visit was over 10 years ago!
That midnight street feel you mentioned reminded me of Malate night life…also 10 years ago! :)))
Still beautiful after all these years. =)
Napakaganda talaga ng Vigan..:)
Old towns possess a distinct charm kaya naman ang sarap balik-balikan ng Vigan. But I have yet to explore Calle Crisologo at night. As always, salamat sa pag-share!
how far is vigan from pagudpud?
2 hours away by land.
Is that Calle Crisologo everyday?? Or did you go up during festival season?
Generally like this. but the parade is during their arts festival on the May 1 weekend.
Can you recommend a place to stay in Vigan?
Vigan Hotel at the back of the Church is good.