Animal Encounters At Baluarte Zoo, Vigan

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It was our last day in Ilocandia and we are to explore Vigan City today. I wasn’t very enthusiastic about visiting a zoo, but Teloyskie had a grand time inspecting all the animals that we saw here.

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Baluarte Zoo in Vigan is own by the famed politician, Chavit Singson. There is no fee for visitors here and they are open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can find a wide selection birds, deer, camels, ponies, snakes and other rare animals. There are animal shows that visitors can enjoy watching, these are very entertaining and kids like our tot are pretty much amazed.

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Although the sun is blazing, we tried to walk around and cover much of the park as we could. We went to find the tigers and tried really hard to get a picture with him but when I went out to get something from the van, I was surprised that there we tigers in cages near the gate of the park!

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Much to Teloy’s delight, ostriches and some sheep where roaming around the park like it was the most natural thing in the world. He also loved reading the signboards around the cages specially those about the reptiles. Among the places and activities we’ve visited in Ilocos, this is one of the best for him.

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And so I learned to really consider his ideas when I’m working on our travel itinerary. While he’s not the kind that throws tantrums when he’s bored or when he doesn’t like something, his lack of interest in some “grown up things” can really scrape on what could be an amazing travel experience.

Where to Eat in Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Lampong’s at Calle Crisolo

We were starving, but we want to try good Ilocano food this time. Our tour driver, though he was kind and patient, was a first timer in the touring business so he doesn’t know much about entertaining a bunch of tired, hungry and weary tourists. We arrived in Calle Crisologo at around 11 in the morning, it seemed like we are early. Not much tourist yet so we were able to walk around leisurely admiring the cobbled stones, the heritage houses and building despite the growing hunger pangs we feel. At the end of our walk, we found ourselves looking at the outdoor menu of Lampong’s, a hole in the wall restaurant right in the heart of the heritage street.

I was so happy, ecstatic in fact! Finally, after days of fasting not eating meat, I am going to eat Bagnet today, our last day in Ilocos! Pouring over the menu, I immediately called for a plateful of Dinakdakan. A culinary fave in the North. It is made from chopped Bagnet, mixed with savory Ilocano vinegar, chopped onions and other spices.

I took the liberty of ordering for Baba too, I asked him if he’s interested in eating “Poqui-Poqui.” He didn’t like the sound of it, but upon describing that it is a dish of mashed eggplant mixed with tomatoes, onions and other spices, he agreed.

Teloy also choose from the menu and decided to have some pasta, to our frustration he wanted to have Carbonara! Fortunately, it wasn’t available so he settled for something authentic – the Vigan Longganisa Spaghetti.

While waiting for our orders to be served, Gang and Bebe joined our table and ordered the Kare-kareng Bagnet.

The rest of our barkada occupied the recently vacated table. Lampong’s visibly lack space and can only accommodate a limited number of diners at a time. But the ambiance is nice and the wi-fi is strong. And did I mention they got super good food at really affordable prices!

This meal must be the heartiest I had during our recently concluded Ilocandia Tour. Good thing we saw this resto and all our cravings for authentic Ilocano food were sated right before we traveled back to Manila.