Monday, August 25, 2014

Stopping Time at The Syquia Mansion

Down the road along historic Calle Crisologo is a beautifully preserved ancestral home, lovingly maintained and a picture perfect example of elegance from a bygone era. Complete your unique Vigan experience with a visit to the Syquia Mansion, just further down Calle Crisologo (for more on historic Calle Crisologo and its famed cobblestone street, check out my previous post with more photos here at

The ancestral home of Dona Alicia Quirino, wife of the Philippines' sixth president, Elpidio Quirino, the Syquia Mansion is one of Vigan's historical attractions along the heritage district. The Spanish colonial style of sturdy stone walls with large arched wooden gates and the wide wooden framed windows with native capiz shells freezes that moment, and you're suddenly transported back in time. 

Northern Escape at Vitalis Resort and Spa

After experiencing the unique charm and history of Vigan, time to shift gears and hit the beach...

Though the weather remained cloudy with the occasional rains, it was still a good idea to catch, if not the sun, then sand and sea. And up north in Ilocos Sur, there's no better place than Vitalis Resort and Spa.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Walk Back in Time at Calle Crisologo

An early morning stroll along the famed cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo takes you back in time, and the sound of horse-drawn calesas complete the experience. 

Home to the rich meztizo traders who prospered with the bustling Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade during Spanish colonial times, Calle Crisologo's cobblestone streets are lined with ancestral Spanish colonial style mansions lovingly preserved by the families and the local community. Calle Crisologo, as well as the town of Vigan, is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, definitely one of the must-see sights up north. For more on Calle Crisologo, check out my post on my other blog and view more photos, in full color, here at

A Peek at Hotel Luna's Art Collection

So close, you can see each delicate brush stroke. Hotel Luna's impressive art collection is an attraction in itself, featuring the very best of Philippine art by national artists and contemporary and local artists, each prominently displayed at the hotel's very own museum and just about everywhere at the hotel. And that's what makes Hotel Luna special. Here's a peek at some of the art pieces from the first hotel museum in the country...

Inspired by national artist Juan Luna, Hotel Luna continues the artist's passion for art with some of the best original private collections in the country (for more on Hotel Luna, check out my previous post here at The centerpiece of Hotel Luna's collection is the iconic oil on canvas masterpiece by Juan Luna, La Mandolinera (1883), proudly displayed at the hotel's museum. And almost immediately, one is drawn to the soulful eyes of Juan Luna's mandolin player, a piece of beautiful history up close. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

History and Art: Vigan's Elegant Hotel Luna

The classic lines from Hispanic colonial and European design blend with modern architecture in a unique landmark like no other. The rich fusion of history, tradition, and art come together in the elegant Hotel Luna, the first museum hotel  in the country. 

Located at the heart of the historic district of Vigan, one of UNESCO's designated World Heritage Sites with its cobblestone streets and ancestral homes preserved since the Spanish colonial era, Hotel Luna is, in itself, an attraction. In Vigan, there really is nothing quite like Hotel Luna.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One by Air, Two by Land: Speeding Through Laoag to Vigan

It rained pretty much the whole day, and despite the grey and cloudy skies, PAL Flight PR 2196 to Laoag remained on schedule.  

A few isolated pockets of turbulence here and there, and in less than an hour...touchdown Laoag, Ilocos Norte. First leg of my northern expedition done, time for the two-hour road trip down south to the historical city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. 
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