Every photo has a story apart from what was caught on film. Here, I present some photos from my trip to Vigan last year and tell the stories behind them.
Like my trip to Coron early this year, my visit to the historic city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur last year was a birthday trip with some great friends and analogue companions. It was also a birthday celebrated with a lot of firsts—first “grown-up” venture into the world, first time to visit the famous Calle Crisologo, first time to try the delicious and authentic Vigan empanada, and many more.
The so-called Heritage Village, one of the cradles of history in the Philippines, is just one of the things the city is known for. I’ve heard and read a lot about it, and have always wanted to take a stroll along its aged and cobblestoned streets, particularly the famous Calle Crisologo. Surrounded by beautiful ancient houses carefully restored and maintained through the years, I found it hard to contain myself from taking photos. A daytime stroll for some shopping, sightseeing, and photowalk is a pleasant experience, but Calle Crisologo and the rest of the Heritage Village are also breath-taking at night!
The Famous Vigan Empanada
A trip would never be complete without a gustatory adventure! One of my travel companions then, a Vigan local, took us to the Empanadaan, a cluster of eateries where mouthwatering empanadas are cooked and sold. They are made with rice flour, vegetables, egg, and the equally famous Vigan longganisa, then deep fried until crisp and golden brown. It’s best eaten for merienda while still hot and fresh off the pan, dipped in spicy sukang Iloko (the town’s special vinegar).
I had an expired Konica Centuria Chrome 200 loaded in my SLR camera at the time, with a few more shots left. My photos turned out very grainy (a notorious trait of the film that I wasn’t yet aware of back then) and I was disappointed at first, but some of my friends still liked them so maybe they’re not so bad after all.
Chasing (and nearly being chased by) animals in Baluarte Zoo
I’ve been to zoos and farms like everyone else, but I haven’t seen ducks, deer, and ostriches, roaming free in a wide enclosure along with humans! So when my Vigan local travel companion asked us if we wanted to visit Baluarte Zoo and “mingle” with animals for free, of course, we said yes!
So I went about taking photos of exotic birds perched on branches, ducks roaming around lazily, camels loosely tied along the viewing/feeding area, and deers hanging out with the camels. Then, I spotted some adult ostriches strolling freely in the compound. I followed one of them to take a picture. Moments later, the ostrich started coming closer, looking like it wanted to chase me!
If you liked this article, you may also want to read Shutter Stories: The Coron Sojourn!