TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
Calle Crisologo is a cobble-stoned street in Vigan with Spanish period rustic mansions left and right. This is one of the most photographed streets in the country hence allowing anyone to appreciate its beauty even in pictures, however, spending time and loitering in this street would allow you even better to grasp its charm and rekindle that slow lifestyle back in the yesteryears. In my bumming around it, there are activities that I liked the most that really enabled me to enjoy this antiquated street.
1. Calesa Ride
Calle Crisologo seems to be automatically associated with calesa ride. Here, calesa which is a horse-drawn carriage seems to be the king of the streets It is mostly suggested as one of the must-experience activity here as it gives you an experience riding the colonial era’s way of transportation while conveniently allowing you to sightsee the different heritage houses. It is a natural sight here to see passing calsesas packed with tourists enjoying their ride and makes you realize that what seemed to be a normal street back then have become rare to even become a world heritage site flocked by tourists.
Two parked calesas on the street
Tourists on the horse-drawn carriage
2. Eat ‘Sorbetes’ or Ice Cream while walking
For some who do not prefer to ride the calesa and just want to really appreciate every nooks and spot in this street then you may opt to walk on Calle Crisologo. This will give you an authentic experience in walking on cobbled streets and get a feel of like walking around old towns in European countries. But don’t just solely stroll, you may opt to eat ‘sorbetes’ or ice cream while walking. This will balance the scorching heat of the sun, especially in summer with the coolness of the ice cream. Also, the taste of this sweet delight will just make you cheerful enabling you to walk even further. Buying ice cream won’t be a problem as ‘sorbetero’ carts are almost everywhere. At the time I visited this place, most of the ‘ sorbeteros’ or ice cream vendors sell dragon fruit flavor sorbetes as it seems to be the flavor of the month or in season.
Sorbetero’ cart with ‘Mamang Sorbetero’
Multi flavor ‘sorbetes’
3. Sit on sidewalk benches
Now if you have gone tired, or you just want to have a lazy late afternoon then you can sit on the benches dotting along the street. This is a place where sitting along the sidewalk street doesn’t make you look like a vagrant but just someone who wants to savor a slow-paced living. Sitting on the street benches allows you to see people from different walks of life passing and doing their own business in this busy calle. From locals doing their trade, tourists strolling and shopping and children playing
Benches on the sidewalk
4. Street Photography
No matter what angle you look at this place it is just so photogenic. Certainly picturesque everywhere. If you are into photography then you would certainly appreciate this place. You can’t help but snap photos at each corner and spots that you pass through to have it as your souvenir. You might also develop an interest with aged doors as you see different styles of antique doors from different heritage mansions along the street. For that vintage background for selfies, this place allows you to just effortlessly have it.
Tourists taking pictures
Vintage lock of an aged door
Worn out Two doors
5. Hunt for souvenirs
Aside from being known as a heritage street, Calle Crisologo can also be considered as a street of souvenirs. Here you can hunt for antiques, furniture, and other home decorations. One of the most famous souvenirs that can be bought here is the miniature furniture which tourists are fond of and can be found in almost all of the souvenir shops along Calle Crisologo.
Souvenir items for sale
6. Drink coffee or dine in cafes housed in heritage structures
Some cafes use vintage furniture and fixtures to have that quaint vibe, but in Calle Crisologo the cafes are oozing with that vibe effortlessly. Here, the ground floor of the old mansions are used for commercial and some are occupied by homegrown cafes from simple to known ones. Drinking a cup of coffee on any cafes here allows you to have that authentic experience of being in a coffee shop that is set on a heritage edifice. While dining, or sipping your warm coffee, you might also want to feel like a local and talk to locals or you may just sit and observe fellow tourists relaxing as they drink their refreshments, or you can also just watch the activities taking place outside from where you are sitting.
Hole in the walls coffee shops
Cafe Leona set on a heritage mansion
6. Staycation at a hotel near Calle Crisologo to explore it at dawn
Exploring Calle Crisologo at dawn is something I haven’t done but have been looking forward to doing. The street is different at day but puts on a different face at night till before the sun finally shines in the morning. At dawn, the light is soft, the street is quiet and still empty, the souvenir shops and restaurants are still closed and sidewalks are stripped bare from walking tourists and displayed souvenirs. Hence, making it a perfect time to enjoy the street by yourself and provides you a great opportunity to take pictures at every side and corners of it freely. Ergo, when I have the chance to go back to this street, this would be on my list.
Facade of Cordillera Inn in Vigan
Should you want to experience loitering at this Heritage Street, Calle Crisologo is located at Vigan city and you may explore it any time of the day.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All expenses were paid by the author.