September 2014
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"From longanisa, empanada, sinanglao, warek-warek and pipian to name a few, one can conclude that Bigueños are not Vegans."

Vigan is not just about the old houses, the calesa and its museums. The Ilocanos of Vigan and nearby towns are passionate for food. Vigan has versions of many food we already know. 


[VIGAN] crispy bagis with suká from Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

From longanisa, empanada, sinanglao, warek-warek and pipian to name a few, one can conclude that Bigueños are not Vegans. The Vigan diet is the opposite of Vegan diet since the former is all about meat... and uhmm, the cholesterol.

About the Food: Crispy Bagis

Bagis is the Ilocano term for intestine. The food I am featuring now is a pig intestine and this food (we call at home bagis-bagis) is one of my childhood favorites; even until now.


[VIGAN] This food is also called bagis-bagis (doubling the fun).

Eating pig intestines in Vigan is very common. You know, we love eating bagnet not to mention the plethora of Vigan dishes that are pork-based like longanisa, warek-warek, lomo-lomo, sinanglao (although beef and goat meat is used too), igado and many more.

So after the mataderos de Vigan (these are 'formally' trained butchers here) slaughter the pig for the love of bagnet and longanisa in Brgy Pagpartian (Pagpartian literally means a slaughterhouse), the intestines are saved and sold. Now every Bigueño can cook it all they want.

Where to Eat Crispy Bagis?

If you're in Vigan, this is a common food. If you're staying with the locals, you can just ask them to cook bagis. But if you want to try this in restaurants, Bistro Amarillo has it.


[VIGAN] The elegance is seen from outside.


[VIGAN] eye-catchy ceiling


[VIGAN] exterior of Bistro Amarillo

While roaming around Vigan, I went to Bistro Amarillo and rediscovered this old favorite. They deep-fried it and named it crispy bagis on the menu.

Bistro Amarillo address: Hotel Salcedo, General Luna corner Salcedo Street, Vigan City (just in front of HOTEL LUNA

[VIGAN] 14 Things to See and Expect at Hotel Luna Museum Tour

TEASER ► "I can't believe when the museum-tour guide told me that the painting I am seeing is an original work of Juan Luna, one of the greatest Filipino artists in history."
). They are open everyday from breakfast to dinner hours.

Ending Musings

I've been living here for 25 years now (since birth) and I realized I'm not expanding and enriching the knowledge I know about my hometown. I usually blog about the places and the food I discover outside Vigan (but not Vigan itself). Now I realized being a travel blogger doesn't necessarily mean you have to write about far-flung places or the 81 provinces and the 7 continents of the world. I've learned to appreciate what can be seen nearby. That and that. For me that is traveling. Traveling is learning.

Expect that I'll be posting more about Vigan and Ilocos Sur for the upcoming days and please vote Vigan for the New7Wonder Cities of the world. Vote here: /end

Vigan #TownExplorations Series

Map Showing the Location of #Vigan

Click map to view latest articles covering ILOCOS SUR



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EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer

Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"The roof is part of the ancestral house package. Better see an original one before everything will vanish through time."

Every Vigan visitor will surely never leave the city without seeing the ancestral houses. Some even want to touch them and examine closely. Some sleep in ancestral homes turned into hotels and inns to experience the old time. However, only a few are aware how does, and should, the rooftop (of Vigan ancestral houses) look like.On this post, I'll show you photos of ancestral houses rooftops.

[VIGAN] rooftop of ancestral houses along Calle Crisologo

The original ancestral houses of Vigan were made by Chinese traders who settled here. The architectural influence of the Chinese is evident in the roofing of these houses.

A Chinese Influence

The early Chinese traders who settled in this world heritage city introduced terracotta-related industries like the jar-making in Pagburnayan which is a century-old industry.


[VIGAN] an example of a typical ancestral house roofing

[VIGAN] roofing made from 'baked clay'

These influences are also present in the Vigan ancestral homes. The thick walls of these houses are terracotta tiles piled together (locally called nardillo). The roofing is not excused from this ancient trend since brick tiles were also used as rooftop.

A Law for Preservation

An ordinance in Vigan provides that the original roofs and ceilings of ancestral houses should be retained. The functional and decorative features of these houses that are significant in defining the historic character of the building should be preserved too and identified.


[VIGAN] The brick roof is replaced by galvanized iron.


[VIGAN] relatively modern roof

Before the existence of an ordinance that define and regulate the renovation of ancestral houses, some houses have been restored improperly turning them to modern houses.


[VIGAN] a well-preserved roof (left) along Gen Luna Street


[VIGAN] rooftop of houses in Calle Crisologo

Thanks to the Bigueños who advocated for the preservation of Vigan's ancestral homes. There are also some who are not from Vigan but took part in the advocacy of preserving these houses. These people are heroes of Vigan. The city has been saved from the threats of modernity. Somehow, it's good to point out that although modernity has embraced the heritage city, it has not significantly changed the townscape of Vigan. The past and the present are living together making Vigan an exceptional example of a successfully preserved heritage city with community involvement.

Preservation was successful but it never became perfect. Some original roofs have been replaced by improper roofing so a guideline was passed into a law. Section 16 of Municipal Ordinance No 4 Series of 2000 provides:

1. Any of the following types of roof shall be allowed:
  • a. Pitched, hip, or gable based on historical precedent, with or without lantern-type air vents.
  • b. Flat-deck azoteas with balustrades and/or parapet walls.

2. Roof finishes shall be any of the following types:
  • a. Clay/brick roof tiles
  • b. Corrugated galvanized iron
  • c. Galvanized tile sheet
  • d. Tiled decks


[VIGAN] Soffit should look like this...


[VIGAN] ...and should be as detailed as this.

3. The eaves shall be detailed and shall, whenever applicable, conform to the following requirements for each portion enumerated herein as may be required by the design:
  • a. Fascia/edge of roof
  • b. Downspout and gutters
  • c. Under eaves/soffit treatment which shall be in wood, sheet metal or masonry
  • d. Cornice which shall be in wood or masonry
  • e. Brackets
The Roof Today

There is nothing permanent in this world, even these ancestral houses that the people of Vigan are obligated to preserve. Somehow, the only practical remedy to retain the old world in Vigan when nothing's left to preserve is to do a replica. 


[VIGAN] old and new together: solar panels on a rooftop

Many don't even know how the roof of a Vigan ancestral house look like. The roof is part of the ancestral house package. Better see an original one before everything will vanish through time.

Today, the brick roof has been replaced by modern roofing but the law made it sure that the replacement should still look like the original. With the advancement of technology, solar panels now invade the ancestral houses roofs. Truly, there is nothing permanent in this world but the people of Vigan made it sure that the heritage they love preserving will still be seen by future generations the way they see it now. In Vigan, the old world does not adjust to fit to the modern world. Instead, the modern world is adjusting to fit the old world in Vigan. /end

Vigan #TownExplorations Series

Map Showing the Location of #Vigan

Click map to view latest articles covering ILOCOS SUR


[BATAC] Ricarte National Shrine, Museum & the Father of Philippine Army

TEASER ► "Now I know how the weapons during World War II looked like (before my eyes). In this museum, it will feed your curiosity if ever you bring that."

[VIGAN] Arzobispado Nueva Segovia: Oldest Surviving Archbishop Palace

TEASER ► "This is indeed a very historic landmark that tourists and travelers who are going to Vigan fail to visit or worse, even fail to discover the significance of it."

[BATAC] Ilocos Norte: Old Houses, New Lessons

TEASER ► "Being curious is sometimes very rewarding. No wonder scientists become instant celebrities when they discover something out of their curious brains."

[SARIAYA] Quezon: Ancestral Houses Must Stand Still

TEASER ► " is happening to towns like Sariaya and new buildings do not conform with the baseline old architectural harmony. They disrupt the beauty and with the mushrooming growth of new buildings, tangling power lines keep appearing in an inevitable manner."

[DARAGA] Albay: Visiting an Albay Ancestral House

TEASER ► "The lampshades, the flooring, the walls, the table, the chairs, the furnishing, the furniture, the ceiling fan and everything - there is nothing new in sight, they all look old!"

[VIGAN] The "Real" Color Behind Vigan's Painted Ancestral Houses

TEASER ► "Some old houses were demolished and now their real color is popping out. The color of greed is now slowly glowing in the old houses transforming them as attractive it could be for business."