The Story

This post is the third part of the Vigan, Ilocos Sur DIY Trip + Baguio City Side Trip Series. Go back to the main article to view the details and the followed itinerary:

3 Days & 2 Nights in Vigan and Baguio City:
Going North: A DIY Trip to Historic Town of Vigan and Baguio City in 3 Days

Vigan City, Ilocos Sur:
A Mesmerizing Half Day Tour around Calle Crisologo & Bantay
Get Artistic in National Museum, Cafe Leona and Calle Crisologo at Night
Enjoying Baluarte, Loomweaving, Bagnet Factory and Hidden Garden

Baguio City, Benguet:
Baguio City: Exploring the City of Pines in One Day, DIY Style

Budget Guide and Travel Tips:
Vigan – Baguio DIY Budget Guide and Travel Tips

Accommodation Review:
HEM Apartelle: Your Cheap But Comfy Stay in Vigan

After having a goodnight sleep in HEM Apartelle, we are excited to start the Day 2 of our Vigan tour. This time, we wonder how we can maximize the time we had since we left the farthest destinations in the city for this day. So, we went back to Calle Crisologo and charter a nearby tricycle. This will be the convenient way to go into places to places when you are running short of available time. We are able to transact to a kind tricycle driver who offered us the service for P300.


Baluarte is also one of the most visited destination here in Ilocos. Not only because entrance is FREE, but because of the fact that it is owned by Chavit Singson, a well known politician in the country. Most of the target visitors are very curious to see the property. Baluarte is actually a zoo, it was named as Baluarte or “Baluarte ni Chavit” because it is the same area of residence of Mr. Singson.

Birds. White birds. Talk to me, please? wait, are you even able to speak?
Oh this is still a bird. A very big one.
A nice morning view atop of the Baluarte signage in the hill.

Safari Gallery is the newest “attraction” in Baluarte. It is a park of mounted head of animals and few selected taxidermied ones. For us, this is a bit ironic for a zoo to house such a exhibit, noting that each animal have its “trophy” picture of who killed them. Anyway, this is a notable experience to see real-size animals that some could’t be seen alive in the land of our country.

Oh whatcha doing Lion?
An elephant.
Look baby!
A view from the top deck.
Safari Gallery Frontage

During our visit, several areas are closed due to renovation and some are closed because we are too early for the scheduled time. Hence, We are not able to roam around freely. Also, some areas are only accessible if you avail the tour they are offering. We didn’t bother to go for it since we think it isn’t practical.

A free roaming animal in Baluarte. I guess this is a deer?

The deer just ignores what Sonny is offering. Oh come on buddy. Maybe that’s because those leaves aren’t tasty! 😀

A snake in an aquarium like cage.
One of the tigers in the area. I guess I’ve seen three of them.

Haha. This is the only decent picture of the tiger. I am hesitant to post the others since I think I am distracting the “private” time of him or her.

What if dinosaurs are alive during our time?
A chapel can be found before you enter the zoo.

We enjoyed our short “hike” tour to Baluarte despite of a higher expectation of many animals to be seen.

Cristy’s Loomweaving

Oh! Aren’t you curious how those nice table tops are made? You can observe and even try how to do it here!

A weaver making a tabletop.

In here, everything is manually done and made. Right from arranging those fibers to make a design up to finally making the desired product. Few meters of it took a long time to make, even for experienced weavers. We noticed that only one weaver is in the factory when we came in. It is because the manufacturing of it depends on the orders made. If there is a bulk of orders, more workers are required to work full time.

Raz is just figuring out how to make it work.
Sonny is just doing the same. Well, he seems much more serious.

The fiber strands are arranged manually on bamboo strips or “patpat”. This is to avoid them to be tangled.

This the larger version of the ones picture above. This is use to make bed covers/linens/beddings or “kumot”

After the educational tour with Ate, oops I forgot here name, sorry. We go into the shop to buy some finish products. We are able to buy some table top linen/placemat set for 150 (depends on the set you want) and a double bedding piece for 270.

Bagnet Factory

Indeed, you can just buy Bagnet in Calle Crisologo. But we want “fresher and cheaper”. That’s why Kuya driver suggested that we should pass by to a nearby bagnet factory. He also insisted that there is a free taste of bagnet there.

Kuya is right. There is a free taste Bagnet right after arriving on the shop. The lady just chopped a pieace of Bagnet and offered it to us right away. I wish this free taste is unlimited! Haha.

Wooh. A mountain of bagnet!!!

As I can remember, buying your Bagnet in the factory is about P10-P20 cheaper per kilo compared when you just buy it from the Poblacion/Calle Crisologo shops. And I guess you can get it for a lower price if you buy in bulk. Native Vigan Longganisa is also available in the Bagnet Factory. If you are wondering, Bagnet is priced at P400 per kilo and longganisa at P120 per dozen.

Hidden Garden

This place is hidden. That’s why it is obviously called Hidden Garden. You won’t even know that there is a garden inside when you arrive in the place (assuming you aren’t assuming Hidden Garden is a garden. This is weird, yeah. Haha.) This garden, located far away from the city center also houses a restaurant.

This is the first thing you will notice once you enter the vicinity.

I am not sure what is the religious beliefs of the owners of these garden but one thing for sure is that they believe on having a good luck.

Celebrity corner.

This huge board is located on the left of the front desk. Let’s play a game, I will give a name of an artist and find it him/her in the photos!

Raz is discovering the place.
Hidden Garden houses numerous variety of plants.

There are designated places wherein plants are placed on mini-pots. These are for sale. Price starts at about P40-60 per pot and can go as high as thousand pesos. Of course, those pricier ones are larger and hard to find varieties.

Lost love. Maybe you can find it here in Lover’s Corner.
Bonsai heaven, oops. I should say, garden.
This welcome plant will welcome you nicely with the nice ribbons placed on its stems.

After ending up the garden tour, you’ll then arrive to an outdoor restaurant where you can order foods you want, from native delicacies to classical cuisines. Dishes are a bit pricey than they should be but they are delicious.

Colorful Banderitas in Hidden Garden Restaurant
This photo is unproportional. It seems like one side of our shoulders is broader than it should be.

We chose the table located outside of the nipa. There is still a nice landscaping just beside us when we were eating.

This is what we ordered for brunch.

The food we ordered appeared that it can be easily done for two persons. But, we ended asking for a take-out since we are not able to eat all of it.

That ends our Day 2 Tour for Vigan. It’s time to go back to HEM Apartelle to pack-up and rest for a bit. See you Baguio City in a few hours!

Planning to do the same trip? Check out Baguio City: Exploring the City of Pines in One Day, DIY Style.

Expenses Summary

Tricycle Tour (Vigan + Tip) – 350
Ice Cream Snack (P20 x 2) – 40
Brunch at Hidden Garden – 735

Total for Vigan, Day 2 Tour: Php 1,125 (2 pax)

If you are wondering about our complete expenses and budget, you can look at Vigan – Baguio DIY Budget Guide and Travel Tips. Everything we spent is written there.

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