"Restobars like this one make Vigan a more interesting place to visit."

Vigan is a city where the saying "forget the past" does not apply. The remains of its past is her beauty. Its heritage is her wealth. Its history is her pride. It is not surprising why this World Heritage City loves preserving its heritage. In light of that, preservation is already a way of life for Bigueños. Hotels, restaurants, spa, bars and even beer houses are not complete without a touch of the past. One of the most notable restaurant-bars I've discovered in Vigan with this character is the Chula Bar.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] a replica of Juan Luna's 1895 tampuhan painting


I entered the Chula Bar in Hotel Luna amazed. I've seen many restaurants here in Vigan with a museum feel but Chula Bar stands out. Replicas of Juan Luna's iconic paintings are displayed inside the bar. I have to conclude that time that this bar was a tribute to the latter. 

Well, not surprising. A multi-million dollar original painting of Juan Luna is also inside this hotel. Take note, this hotel is named after Juan Luna although the street where this hotel stands is named after Gen Antonio Luna, the brother of Juan Luna who fought in the Philippine-American War.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] artistic window of the bar


Juan Luna is said to be one of the greatest Filipino artists in Philippine history and definitely the greatest Ilocano artist of all time. 

Heritage Preservation in Details

Restobars like this one make Vigan a more interesting place to visit. The city's main attraction (ancestral houses) has evolved to a granulated, more detailed form of heritage preservation making every piece the eye can see a history lesson to enjoy.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] the brick wall adds drama to the window

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] carefully and delicately designed ceilings


The word "bar" might sound as a thing of the modern pop culture but Chula Saloon Bar gives it a different perspective. According to our museum-tour guide, "Chula" means a girl who is paid to have an intimate contact with a man during the time of Juan Luna. It is also noteworthy that Juan Luna has an Una Chula painting in 1885 featuring a lower class woman from Madrid who explicitly portrays a flirtatious image, sexual confidence and worldliness.

The saloon bar, is safe to say, named after Chula (the woman painted by Juan Luna). But this saloon bar is not a place to flirt. As I said, almost every piece you'll see is a history lesson; whether it is a replica, an original item or a contemporary thing. What's beautiful here is that it can bring you back virtually to the past. 

[VIGAN] a smart corner for viewing ancestral houses nearby

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] bottles of wine in the saloon bar

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] inside is like a museum

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] comfortable chairs and dining tables


Window/s of the Chula Saloon Bar is a traditional Vigan window. It is wide to allow light to enter. It has an arched frame and wood bars.

The Merienda Buffet

If you have a hard time pretending as if you enjoy the history (since some find history a difficult subject), well enjoy the merienda buffet without getting away from the Vigan-ish interior. The merienda buffet starts at 2pm up to 5pm daily. Menu served changes everyday. For 175 pesos, you can eat until you drop.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] The tables are ready for the buffet.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] merienda buffet

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Vigan sweets

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] bread with special egg toppings

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] puto with different colors

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] puto with cheese topping

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Sliced sweetened bananas with sesame seeds

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] leche flan

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] maja blanca

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] lumpiang gulay

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] nuts on top

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] marshmallows

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] pancakes

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] guests looking on the food

[VIGAN] My mix


I personally love the carbonara, the pancake with chocolate syrup and the food below.

Unlimited Halo-Halo

If you just want to chill, halo-halo is also served daily from 2pm to 5pm for 125 pesos (a la carte).

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] This guest gets her own mix

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] They can get all they want.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] for filling-up

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] guests in the saloon bar

VIGAN] ready for consumption


Each halo-halo has one scoop of ice cream. For additional scoop, add 25pesos. There is a policy you need to follow: No sharing. No left overs.

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Chula Saloon Bar façade

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Chula Saloon Bar façade

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Chula Saloon Bar façade

[VIGAN] Chula Bar, Hotel Luna

[VIGAN] Chula Saloon Bar façade


For the next part of the series, I'm gonna give you a virtual museum tour. Let's discover ivories, Swarovski crystals and million-dollar paintings. /to be continued...
_________________________________________
THIS POST BELONGS TO A SUB-SERIES

Vigan #TownExplorations Series

Map Showing the Location of #Vigan



Click map to view latest articles covering ILOCOS SUR


MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *RESTAURANTS*

[SAN FERNANDO] ► Halo-Halo de Iloko Balay - Refreshed in La Union

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TEASER ▬ ...this blue-colored old house-turned-restaurant has many surprises to keep that can only be experienced if you try to visit this restaurant

[DAGUPAN] ► Golden Mami House: Chinese Restaurant in Dagupan

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TEASER ▬ ...this is the first serving for the blog menu I'll be offering soon covering food and restaurants in Dagupan City.

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Kafeteria Ikhwan: Stories of My First Restaurant Dining Abroad

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TEASER ▬ ...I enjoyed the food, but more than the food are these countless first time travel experiences that taught me to believe that the world, though getting smaller, is complex.

[BANTAY] ► The Commissary at One Vittoria Hotel, Upscale Dining in Ilocos

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TEASER ▬ It's nice to see Metro Vigan evolving so fast on the right path. There are more options coming. For 'The Commissary,' it's setting a new genre for Ilocos...

[TANAY] ► Handong: Vegetarianism, Nature and Religion Intertwined

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TEASER ▬ It's vegetarianism on its face. No killing of animal life—it's primarily based on sustainable farming.

[VIGAN] ► Bigueños Café: A Cozy Place to Chillax and Eat in Vigan

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TEASER ▬ Its trade name, Bigueños cafe.net, came from 'Bigueño', a term used to refer to the people of Vigan.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► Flashback Stories: Sea and Sky Hotel's the Bay Grill and Cafe

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TEASER ▬ There are basic things in a city life commonly done by city dwellers. But for rural-grown children like us, this basic thing is an achievement to try even once and it's a big deal.

[VIGAN] ► Lilong and Lilang Restaurant: Optimum Ilocano Dining

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TEASER ▬ Ilocano stuff is everywhere in Lilong and Lilang restaurant. Aside from the damili and the famous Vigan terracotta tiles, pieces of the Ilocano culture are also here.
SPEAK YOUR HEART OUT. C'MON! DON'T BE SHY. I PROMISE TO REPLY EXCEPT FOR TROLLS.

Axact

EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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