Calle Crisologo - Mena Crisologo Street
The major attraction of Vigan is its mestizo district
which is filled with Spanish-style houses that evoke a
bygone era when its people lived prosperously because of
the Manila-Acapulco maritime trade.
For visitors who want to experience being transported
back to this period in Philippine Spanish colonial time,
a walk or a calesa ride through Viganís Calle Crisologo
or Mena Crisologo Street is a must.
The tour will take visitors more than a couple of hours
and will cost around half a thousand pesos. You will be
guided through four blocks of cobblestone streets lined
with heritage houses of the families of the
Filipino-Chinese traders who rose to prominence during
that time of vigorous trading in abel cloth, indigo,
gold, tobacco and other goods that were transported to
Vigan from all over the North.
The houses are simple but lovely subjects ready for
picture-perfect shots with their roofs of red tiles,
thick walls, huge doors and stair cases leading to rooms
of high ceilings and sliding capiz shell windows. Having
survived the many natural and man-made calamities
throughout the centuries, the families who own these
treasures have endeavored to maintain them.
Visitors can admire more closely the architecture and
intricate craftsmanship employed in the grill and wood
works when they step inside some of the houses that have
been turned into stores and museums. They can even
experience staying in a heritage house during their
visit as some have been converted into inns.
Though a trip to Calle Crisologo is enjoyable during the
day especially because of the opportunity to shop for
Viganís best products (antiques, abel woven products,
bags, basi wine, burnay and dimili products, chicharon,
jewelry, sweets, Vigan vinegar and woodcrafts) in the
inobtrusive shops located in the ground floor of some of
the grand houses, a walk through it is magical at night.
Since it is closed to vehicular traffic at any time of
the day, the stillness and shadows that come with the
night adds more to the 18th century ambience of the
lamp-lit street that local and foreign visitors love.
Couples can take advantage of this romantic atmosphere
by having dinner in one of the old houses that has been
converted to a restaurant, like Cafť Leona, before or
after their walk.
For those who want to know something about the person
the street is named after, Mena Pecson Crisologo is
among the most-respected sons of the Ilokos region. He
wrote Mining wenno Ayat ti Kararwa, which many compare
to Jose Rizalís Noli Me Tangere; an Ilocano translation
of Don Quixote entitled Don Calixtofaro de la Kota
Caballero de la Luna; and a zarzuela entitled Codigo