Travel to Heritage City, Vigan, Ilocos Sur  

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It was my first ever trip to a very far province up north in the Philippines. Vigan, Ilocos Sur is about 12-13 hours by bus from Baliwag, Bulacan. It will take you to bus rides the longest trip is from Cubao to Manila (10 hours) via Partas or Viron Transit.

It is advised to have daytime travel to enjoy the scenery and well take good pictures along the way via your camera. For me I left Manila at around 1:30 p.m. and arrive in Vigan at around 12 midnight.

Thanks to Viron Transit for they have video on-board and a comfy seat so the long journey was not very boring and tiring. Although Viron has a relatively higher fare than Partas who now has a promo. Viron charges P620 on their Deluxe Bus while Partas only charges around P580. Although you don't really have a choice since there is no reservation so you ride the bus available. There are only about 5-6 trips a day.

I had to go to Vigan to attend the 37th National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) Congress and give a solidarity message of Nicanor Perlas to the student leaders. The day before I prepared a presentation and also materials to give to the students.

On the way to Vigan, I pass the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union. I had also seen the entrance to the controversial Hacienda Luisita which is owned by the family of NoyNoy Aquino.

When I reach Vigan, I have no choice but to find a not so costly inn to stay. They say that the cheapest inn in Vigan would be Casa Tiofila which only charges P650 for a 12 hour or overnight stay. Although I find the rooms not that presentable since many are not working including the remote control for the television, the shower and well the wi-fi. Other hotel and inn costs more than a thousand pesos.

The next day I have to travel to Baluarte which is the site of the congress. Baluarte is owned by Chavit Singson. Upon reaching the place I would agree that it is really a rich man's land with a touch of nature and a tourist place as well.

There are more than 200 delegates for the 37th NUSP National Congress from all over the Philippines. I spoke there for about 10 minutes and stressed on the holistic and multiple-intelligence education reform of Nicanor Perlas as well as his support for student rights as well as new politics and systemic change.

Everyone was really enthusiastic and listening. I distributed flyers afterwards. I also met the Mayor of Santa, Ilocos Sur which was among the youngest Mayor in the Philippines. I was also introduced to Ipon which is a very delicious local delicacy of Santa, Ilocos Sur.

In the afternoon Senatorial Candidate Gilbert Remulla arrived and also spoke in behalf of Presidential Candidate Manny Villar. It was not surprising that when students asked of Villar's solution to the problem in education, Remulla says that it was all about money. Remulla also pointed out that when elected senator his bills would include the abolition of the DENR as well as the Sangguniang Kabataan.

I left Baluarte at around 1:30pm after having a brief tour myself and then went to Vigan. I have the chance to walk via the so called Heritage City and experience the old houses in Vigan. Although I might say that it just feels like walking inside Intramuros, the only difference is these houses are made of wood and not stone.

Before leaving I bought an Ilocos preparation for tapa and lonnganisa which turned out to be having the same taste when we cooked it at home. Left Vigan via Partas Transit at around 4:30pm.

I arrived back home here in Baliwag at 5 in the morning. A great experience for NEW POLITICS and for a NEW PHILIPPINES.

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