Friday, August 31, 2007
History & Scenery
Got back late last evening from an overnight trip to the northwest coast of the island of Luzon. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Tonette and I traveled to the city of Vigan, an 16th century Spanish colonial town, famous for its well-preserved buildings. I'd compare it to Williamsburg in the U.S. It was a long drive up to Vigan from Manila -- about 6 - 7 hours -- but well worth it! We traveled through miles and miles of rice plantations, with gorgeous views of the central and northern mountain ranges and the China Sea off to the west. We must have passed through about a dozen small towns in the large province of Ilocos, from which my aunt comes. Blue skies, puffy white clouds, and temps in teh 80s made for perfect traveling weather.
We stayed overnight in the Plaza Hotel in Vigan, which itself is beautifully restored to its 18th century glory. We took a horse and buggy ride (called a "calesa") through the town, and stopped in to see the cathedral church, the archbishop's palace, and many other historical sites. Lots of little shops selling lovely handicrafts, especially wood carvings, pottery and weaving. Flilipinos, I am quickly learning, are tremendous artisans, and very proud of their work, rightfully so.
Back for a day of rest today, then off tomorrow (Sunday) for an overnight trip to the southern part of Luzon where my mother is from. More to see and do, and I'm soaking it all in!
I've got lots of photos, but Blogspot is being a little stubborn in not letting me post them. Stand by, and you'll see them soon, I hope!
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