There are many ‘places to visit’ in my list for my blog and Vigan is one of them. Last month, my family and I had the chance to visit it. We were invited to stay at Villa Angela Heritage House located on Quirino Boulevard, which is only a block away from the famous Calle Crisologo.
Before I say anything about the house, here is a general info about Villa Angela, which can also be found on their Facebook page.
Built by Gobernadorcillo Agapito Florendo y Bonifacio in 1870, Villa Angela stands proudly on a 2,000 square meter lot as a shining example of a Vigan Heritage House. Being a rich depository of the family’s relics and memorabilia acquired through the years, Villa Angela remains a showcase of the family’s past and present standing in the Vigan community.
The upper floor has been continuously maintained to be as elegant as it was over 100 years ago. The rooms are filled with antique furniture seen only in big colonial houses. On the lower floor, what were once storage areas for the family’s farm produce of rice, corn, maguey, and tobacco have been converted into cozy dormitory-style rooms which can accommodate larger groups.
Villa Angela has been the venue of many historical and social gatherings in the Vigan of yesteryears, and remains so today, as a preferred venue for both grand and intimate gatherings, garden weddings, baptismal parties and even retreats, seminars, workshops and training courses for various groups and organizations.
In fact, on December 24, 1988, with the restoration almost complete, the house was able to serve as a lasting memento of the Golden Wedding Anniversary of then-owners Engr. Candelario V. Verzosa, Sr. and Dra. Purificacion Lahoz-Verzosa, who have since bequeathed this home and this treasure, to the family’s present-day generations.
The family heritage house is 147 years old. You may think that it is already ugly, stinky, and creepy, but it is totally the opposite! Villa Angela is very clean, even its bathrooms, airy, and relaxing. Sitting on one of their wicker chairs in the sala brought some memories of our own ancestral house in Pampanga. The owners have preserved all the antique furniture and the floors, tables, and other wooden furnishings are well-polished. In the living room, you will see old family portraits, large Venetian mirrors, and other family memorabilia. Its windows are all made of capiz… a feature that a house… well, here in the Philippines, that is… is ancient.
The place has a huge garden which is great for celebrating large or small weddings, christening parties, birthdays, and other social events.
We arrived at the villa at about 610AM. The friendly caretakers welcomed us right away. Ms. [Ate] Maricris asked me how many we were and if we wanted to have breakfast already. Her husband, Kuya Tony, led us upstairs and showed us to our room. He also gave us some info on the rooms and a bit of history of the property. Upon entering the house, you will see the dining hall with two large tables that can accommodate 20 people at the same time. On the left end of the dining room are the Cuarto Del Señor [on the left] and the Cuarto De Las Hijas [on the right].
Villa Angela was the setting of the top-grossing film Jose Rizal, which starred Cesar Montano, and two other memorable movies, Gumising Ka, Maruja and Noli Me Tangere. It was also the venue of the television series, Anna Karenina, and where the famous actor, Tom Cruise, stayed at while he was filming the movie Born on the 4th of July.
These large doors lead to the living room and for some reason, I so liked it… that’s why I have more than one picture of it. 😛 [These photos were not edited nor enhanced in order for them to look nicer or ‘older’; this is really how this very old yet still beautiful heritage home looks.]
They have these! I remember when I was a little girl, my papa would always give me small versions of these old-fashioned kalan… a full set with pots and pans in different colors and with flower designs. 🙂
We were all excited when we got there that I wasn’t even able to take a shot of all the rooms. In fact, our room was a bit messy when I came in because my kids wanted to lie down and rest their backs… it was a long trip, you know, plus Kuya Tony already turned the air-con on while we were still eating breakfast. Anyway, you can check their rooms on their Facebook page.
I always take pix of guests, so…
After breakfast, we started our tour of Vigan and headed first to the Crisologo Museum.
It’s so nice to take pictures in Vigan. Since locals are promoting Ilocos Sur’s capital city as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities in the world, tricycle and jeep drivers, as well as other residents would stop if they see you posing for the camera. When I took this shot [below], there were vehicles on both sides of the street that waited patiently for me to finish. How awesome is that! [clap clap clap]
From the Crisologo Museum, we walked to the very well-known tourist attraction there, Calle Crisologo, where you will find various Vigan delicacies, antiques, and other pasalubongs like t-shirts, scarfs, woven bags, key chains, hats, and many others… even brooms! And horseshoes which I really regret not buying 🙁 🙁 and will definitely buy already if and when I go back there.
My older daughter, who has been there before, suggested that we rent a kalesa so it will be easier and cheaper for us to go to the other tourist spots… so we did. We were able to bargain with the manong kutsero and paid 700Php [for each kalesa] for the whole day tour; we rented two horses. No photos on the kalesa, though, because my daughter’s friend and my son’s girlfriend weren’t really thrilled to be carried around by the ‘poor’ horse… we, actually, had to force them haha 😛 Well, of course, I had to have a selfie with the hubby so…
The next attraction was the Bantay Bell Tower. Thanks to the manong tourist guide who willingly took our pictures. He even directed our poses haha 😛 [Ops! Before I forget, want to mention that giving a donation is sort of a requirement in all the places. No required amount, though, but please don’t give 20Php if you’re a big group 😛 😛 ]
After the Bantay Bell Tower, we went to the National Museum, which is also called Padre Burgos [of the GomBurZa] House. The Padre Burgos House or the Burgos Museum is located beside the old municipal / provincial jail, where Elpidio Quirino, the Philippines’ 6th president, was born. At that time, the part of the house where Padre Burgos’ stuff were was temporarily closed for renovation, so we toured the jail [National Museum] instead. According to the friendly guide, the former president Elipidio Quirino’s father was a warden at the provincial jail. She showed us Quirino’s death bed and some of his belongings. The museum also houses paintings and different Ilocano artifacts.
I think we all liked this tourist attraction the most because it’s air-conditioned and at that time, it was scorching hot outside! Well, that was an answered prayer, though, because the night before we left for Vigan, we all prayed for a sunny weather, so we will have a pleasant time going around and we will enjoy our short vacation more.
It was almost lunch time but we decided to go to one more attraction. Last one before a hearty meal… RG Jar Factory. There, you can try to make a jar… for free! 🙂 It was hot, we were tired and hungry, so we didn’t stay long at the jar factory. We asked to be taken to Hidden Garden of Vigan, which, according to the locals there, is one of the best restaurants to eat at.
All rested and full now… next stop is the Baluarte [ni Chavit]. Since it was already afternoon, the sun was all out, we just walked to see the animals, and we didn’t have an umbrella.
Most of the animals were snobby… they didn’t look at us and, therefore, we couldn’t take pictures! I guess they felt hot, too. There is an air-conditioned area inside the Baluarte, though… the Safari Gallery and staying inside was a big relief! Whew! My kids, however, felt bad for the dead animals. They think those were shot while they were still alive and energetic and not when they were already weak and okay to be killed.
That was it! We were honestly very tired after all the walking inside Baluarte, so we didn’t have the strength to go to the weaving place and I think there was still one more tourist spot. We asked to be taken back to Calle Crisologo then went back to Villa Angela. We slept for a few hours before going out again to have dinner. For supper, we ate at Cafe Leona and didn’t order any more bagnet haha 😛 After getting filled, we checked the stores on Calle Crisologo and took a lot more photos! 🙂
I work from home and I have very flexible schedule. What I love about my job is that I get to work on my tasks and keep my clients happy and at the same time, get to go on a vacation and keep my family and I happy. 🙂 🙂 I finished all my work that Sunday that we left but since it was Monday the next day, I had to take my laptop, so I can work. Good thing Villa Angela has good WIFI connection! I was able to work on my tasks yay! 🙂
Before completely leaving Vigan, I went back to Calle Crisologo with my hubby-dubs, who was my photographer that morning, and took more photos while everyone was still preparing to face a brand new day haha [sorry!] 😛 😛
And because I love taking selfies [or groupies]… my husband and I had to take one last shot before going back inside the house to have breakfast.
There you go! That’s the story of our 2 days, 1 night Vigan trip. Thanks heaps to Ms. Mercedes and Ms. Ninay for this amazing accommodation and special thanks to Ate Maricris and Kuya Tony [I feel really bad that I wasn’t able to take a pic of them! OMG!] for their super friendly welcome and care. Anyone who stays at Villa Angela is sure to be in good hands with them. This place, their managers and caretakers are all highly recommended and my family and I will definitely stay there again.
Like I always do for my posts about a place, here are good-to-know information:
Published Room Rates for January 2017 – January 2018:
- CUARTO DEL SEÑOR
2 pax, A/C. inside T&B
Bed: 1 King size, four-poster bed
- CUARTO DE LAS HIJAS
4 pax, A/C, inside T&B
Beds: 1 Queen size, 1 Double size, 1 Twin size – all four-poster beds
- CUARTO DE LOS HIJOS
4 pax, A/C, outside T&B, Veranda
Beds: 1 King size, 1 Double size, 1 Single size – all four-poster beds
- CUARTO PEQUEÑO
2 pax, A/C, outside T&B
Beds: 1 Twin size, 1 Single size – all four-poster beds
- Cuarto DORMITORYO A
10 pax, A/C, private T&B
Beds: 5 Single size double deck beds
- Cuarto DORMITORYO B
12 pax, A/C, private T&B
Beds: 6 Single size Double deck beds
- Cuarto DORMITORYO BARATO
Fan-cooled, common T&B, folding cot with mattress
- Extra Bed/Person (Can be added in all rooms)
Bed: Folding cot with mattress
- Group Rate
35 pax min (includes Accommodations and Full board)
Note: Villa Angela Heritage House has 6 distinct rooms or 1 room of each type.
All our rates are inclusive of Breakfast, 10% service charge and 12% VAT.
Holy Week: April 9 – 15, 2017
Christmas Season: December 16, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Regular: Rest of the year that is not peak season
To book a room, please give the following information:
1. Full name
2. Exact date of request
3. Number of nights you’re staying at Villa Angela
4. Number of persons in your group
5. Preferred room (if any)
Account name: Villa Angela Heritage House Inc
Account no: 0958006281
Bank branch: BDO Vigan
Vigan (Maricris) : 077-722 2914 / 0919 315 6122 / 0935 478 0381
Manila (Ninay) : 02-425 6473 / 0917 631 4024
MENU SELECTIONS — ‘PLAN YOUR OWN MENU’
- BREAKFAST MENU
P150.00 / head
Choice of One (1) per group
Beef Tapa, Corned Beef, Daing na Bangus, Dried / smoked fish, Hotdog, Lomo-lomo, Pork Tocino, Vigan Longganiza
Eggs (fried or scrambled), Rice (Steamed or fried), Fruits in Season, Coffee / tea or milk
- *LUNCH / DINNER MENU
P250.00 / head (group chooses one (1) meat dish, one (1) fish dish, one (1) vegetable dish)
P75.00 / head for every additional viand selected by group
Beef Steak, Igado, Binagoongang Baboy, Inihaw na Baboy, Breaded Pork Chop, Kare-kare, Caldereta, Menudo, Chicken / Pork Adobo, Pork Steak, Chicken / Pork Afritada, Puchero, Dinuguan, Sinigang na Baboy, Fried Chicken, Tinolang Manok
Escabeche, Fish Caldereta, Fish Fillet, Fish Steak, Fried Fish, Inihaw na Bangus, Sarciadong Isda, Sinigang na Isda, Steamed Fish
Chopsuey, Dinengdeng, Eggplant Torta, Fresh Vegetable Salad, Guisadong Gulay, Pinakbet, Vegetable Adobo
Served with unlimited rice, fruits in season, and drinks
*Group should reach a minimum of 7 persons to avail of Lunch and Dinner Food Service
VILLA ANGELA TOUR PACKAGES & TRANSFERS
- VIGAN CITY TOUR 1,700Php
Pagburnayan (Iron pottery)
Baluarte ni Chavit (mini-zoo)
Bo. Bulala (Terracotta pottery)
Caoayan Handloom Weaving Industry
Mira Furniture Factory (Antique furniture)
Syquia Mansion (Pres. Quirino’s residence)
Calle Mena Crisologo (Souvenir and antique shops)
Vigan Cathedral and Pastoral Museum
Archbishop’s Palace and Museum
Bantay Bell Tower of St. Augustine Church
San Vicente Church
Plaza Salcedo/merienda of empanada and okoy
- LAOAG CITY TOUR (including 2-way Laoag Airport Transfer) 7,000Php
Bantay Church and Bell Tower
Juan Luna Museum
Paoay Church and Lake
Malacanang of the North
2-way LAOAG AIRPORT TRANSFER P6,000
1-way LAOAG AIRPORT TRANSFER P3,500
Clients interested to avail of the Laoag Airport pick-up, please provide the following information:
2. Date and time of arrival at Laoag airport
4. Flight Number
- PAGUDPOD TOUR 5,500Php
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation Cape Boreador Lighthouse
x Merienda, bibingka, entrance fees not included in Tour Package Fee
x Places visited in Vigan, Laoag, and Pagudpod Tours vary on number of places that could be covered in one tour
x Pagudpod, Vigan, and Laoag City Tour Packages and Airport Transfer – 8 pax maximum
x Please contact Maricris Pandoro (front desk officer) at 0919 315 6122 / 0935 478 0381 for tour arrangements
x Bus fare from the Partas bus terminal in Pasay costs 760Php per head for an express trip — with only 1 stopover, entire trip takes about 7 – 8 hours; 680Php for a regular 12-hour trip with 5 stopovers. You may call the bus terminal for seat reservations [for express trips] at  727 8278.
In addition to the contact numbers given above, you may also check their Facebook page for reviews, other information, and more images of the heritage house.