To go back in time, one must visit places filled with long forgotten ghosts and dreams. I had that chance two weeks ago.
Luck sided with me when my division head called me up in a meeting and told me I had to go to Vigan to attend a message development workshop.
Whoa! That would be one item off my list of places I must visit before I die. The List includes only three places: Vigan/Pagudpud, Sagada, and Palawan. But the list has the tendency to change depending on the “travel” craze which changes from time to time. Yesterday I was tempted to add Caramoan in it.
It took us nine hours to reach the town of Vigan, the Heritage Village, in particular. It was raining that night and the mist added a sense of mystery and nostalgia to the place. We chose Ciudad Fernandina Hotel for our four-day stay. It was superb to say the least. An old house-turned into a hotel, we fell in love with it the moment we got off the car.
The grand staircase was an instant hit. We took photos after photos, ignoring the fact that there are other guests around.
After changing into more “gala” appropriate clothing, we strolled along Crisologo street and bought “hopiang baboy” from a local bakery. We also took a sip of “BASI” or sugar cane wine.
Enough gala for the first night, we then headed to the hotel’s diner. I found it classy and cosy at the same time.
Sumptous meal was served. The best potato salad I have ever tasted so far.
Morning of Saturday, I tried Vigan Empanada for breakfast. It was quite unique, a tasty dish but one that I could live without. Certainly not something that I would go looking for when I return to the city.
I was with my friend, Manel (in her black hat), my division head, Ginang, and my immediate supervisor, Ma’am Buen. We are proudly from the Creatives and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. We do ads. I write, Manel designs, Ginang instructs and Ma’am Buen sees us through.
Pasalubong hunting follows:
Still hunting pasalubong despite the rain:
The workshop started and ended fast. It was really more of a vacation rather than work. But I will left one “stinky” story untold. Better that way. Hmmm…but for those craving for scary anecdotes famous in century-old places, I have one. It was Saturday night and we were about to sleep, Manel and I felt the door of our bathroom opened on its own. We both looked up to see it closed though. We didn’t have any explanation for it until we were on our way back to Manila.
Over all, it was a nice experience. I got to visit to a beautiful and nostalgic place FOR FREE! Got to enjoy the food and the nice accomodation.
But the travel home wasn’t so great. Manel received a call from her mom telling her that her father has passed on. He had been sick for a while. I was worried about how my friend would take it and how she would react but she was trying to be as strong as she could the whole time. And I admire her for that. That led us to conclude that it was maybe her father’s premotion-our bathroom door opening on its own during the night.
Life is like that. You come into a place and stay there for a while, but eventually, one has to leave at some point. But somehow, we must enjoy the journey, however way we can. Savor each moment pips! Love. Laugh. Pray.