After a long road trip from El Union Coffee in La Union and a whole afternoon spent on the road to Vigan, we finally reached our destination, Calle Crisologo. Just in time for the evening light and music show at the plaza. It’s still the same beautiful and mesmerizing work of art. The beauty of Vigan never fades even though I have been here several times. Calle Crisologo alone is a place to be, grab a cup of coffee and just watch people passing by is my usual activity here.
You haven’t officially been to Vigan if you did not walk along Calle Crisologo, the centerpiece of the Vigan Heritage Site in Ilocos Sur. Strolling down this centerpiece one overcast evening, my ears glued to the music playing at the nearby cafe, a horse drawn carriage suddenly swept past me. Shifting from the present to the past, from the past to the future. For an instant, I felt somewhat dislocated.
Calle Crisologo has always been the center of trading in the region even before the Spanish arrived. These ancestral houses in fact roomed affluent Chinese merchants rather than Spaniards as I first thought they did. Vigan was then known as Kasanglayan or the place of the Chinese before Juan de Salcedo founded the city.
I guess nothing much has changed over the centuries at Calle Crisologo. The stately Spanish and Chinese inspired houses are still standing and trade is still widespread throughout the area.
Calle Crisologo is as touristy as a place can get. But like most spots often abhorred by self dubbed real travelers, there is a reason why the place is so popular with the masses. And with this street, a short walk through its half kilometer cobbled pavement and you’d easily see why. I sat down at one of the many caritela benches along Crisologo and watched the heavens, and for a minute I said to myself, this is the meaning of life – to enjoy every moment.