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!

Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em coming! I continue to remember you in my thoughts and prayers!

3 comments: said...

Dear Ray,
You are seeing a lot more places than we did when we live there. We are glad for you. We will see those places vicariously through you, once you have them posted.
We send you our love,
Mom and Dad

bkelley said...

Hi Ray,

I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the photos. You look fine and happy! You are seeing so many things in a short amount of time. How fortunate to have such wonderful family there. I look forward to reading and seeing more.


kbeams said...

Enjoyed reading about your trips and the pictures you sent came out fine. I did write my sister Mimi about you and she still remembers about your mentioning a few years (?)back about the possibility of your trip to the P.I. She is awaiting your call. She is familiar with Ateneo, including the chapel which she has visited many times. Take care. EdK