Baluarte Vigan - Fortress of Vigan
The Baluarte or fortress is a must-see attraction for
first time visitors, and even for those who have visited
Vigan before. The reasons for its being on the list of
places to visit are two. First is that it has a mini zoo
with animals from other countries and others endemic to
the Philippines. It is a private collection and is
therefore continuously being improved. The second reason
is that it is owned by Mr. Chavit Singson, a well-loved
son of Vigan and well-known to most Filipinos and
foreigners who follow the Philippine political scene.
The resort complex lies in hectares of land that
stretches from the rolling plain towards the hills,
the former governorís multi-storey house sits with
a grand view of Vigan and the South China Sea.
its private area is a landscaped garden complete with
its own nature pools. However, the area open
public has plenty more engaging attractions that
visitors can busy themselves with aside from the mini
zoo. There is a butterfly farm, a track for horse riding
and a skeet shooting range.
Visitors can start with visiting the rows of cages where
they can see lions, Bengal tigers, peacocks, civet cats,
iguanas, pythons and other reptiles and birds. In this
part of the Baluarte, people will also be able to see
the Philippine cloud rat, a nocturnal animal endemic to
the Philippine Cordillera region. This very large rodent
is an herbivore and hunted by large birds and local
From the caged animals, visitors can move on to the
fenced areas where they can visit and feed the monkeys,
swans, flamingos, ostriches, albino and spotted deer and
the one-hump camel. Children are allowed to sit on top
of the bigger animals, but if they really want to ride,
they can go to the tracks where they can ride the
For a closer encounter with the animals, visitors may
choose to visit and feed the parrots and hornbills
are placed in a more open area where visitors can openly
approach them with bananas and seeds.
There are also
scheduled show and tell times when audiences are
introduced to the animals.
An added attraction is the butterfly garden where one
can observe thousands of butterflies, some endemic to
the Philippines, or have a more serene interaction with
an animal species.
Visitors from all parts of the Philippines and other
countries flock to Baluarte everyday, for these
well-cared for animal attractions, and for a chance to
meet with the owner of this magnificent property.
Governor Singson does not only generously share his
private collection of animals with everyone; he also
gives in to requests of tourists for pictures to be
taken with him.