TBJ TRAVELS: Ilocos 3- Vigan Heritage Village, Paoay and Laoag Sights

Our third Ilocos travel guide is now up! After a day around nature and a day of adventure, we spent our final day wandering around Paoay and Vigan, and immersed ourselves in culture.


Our first stop on our last day in Ilocos is Paoay, specifically Paoay Church. A UNESCO heritage site, Paoay Church mightily withstood typhoons, earthquakes, and wars for over 400 years, and remains as a symbol of Catholic faith for Ilocos Norte.

The inside of the church is now supported by metal sheets and beams, but most remnants of the original materials still remained.

Paoay Church was built to withstand earthquakes, which explains its unique external architecture; this is considered as one of the best examples of baroque churches in the world. 


Paoay Lake is a horseshoe- shaped lake that provides livelihood for local fishermen and leisure activities for tourists; this is where MalacaƱang of the North stands. 

As with all natural sites, Paoay Lake is also steeped in legend. According to folklore, there used to be a flourishing village at the site of the lake; the villagers were so prosperous that everyone wore jewelry; however, they've become so materialistic and selfish that they have forgotten about God, but there is one couple who lived simply and continued putting God first despite the temptation. 

One night, God appeared in the dream of the woman and warned her that the village will be flooded because it has gotten so sinful, and they should leave, but should never look back. The woman relayed the dream to her husband and they wasted no time by packing whatever they could bring and left. As the traveled away from the village, heavy rains engulfed the village, drowning each and every person, house, and scream; curiosity bit the woman and she turned back to check on the village, and got swooned; the man tried to saver her, but they both drowned. Rains have turned what used to be a village into Paoay Lake. According to some fishermen, they have reportedly caught fish adorned with jewels, which is perhaps a testament of either the existence of the sunken village or the rich storytelling culture of Paoay.


Touchdown, Vigan! Gov. Chavit Singson is known for his love for animals that he even has a Tiger for a pet. Baluarte Zoo offers a glimpse of the many wonderful creatures to walk the earth. Here's a mama Boa and her eggs!

This kind spotted doe greeted every person who would reach out to her in her pen. Such a sweetie!

This charming Ostrich charmed us with its big, droopy eyes.

Baluarte Zoo, in my opinion, seems well taken cared of so I didn't feel bad going around; still needs a couple of improvements though. Baluarte Zoo is a nice place to visit if you're traveling with kids.


Calle Crisologo is the biggest come on of Ilocos because aside from being the most photographed part, it also represents the province in books, posters, postcards, and other informational materials. Its charm? The hundred- year old houses that line the cobbled streets. A majority of the houses on Calle Crisologo are either souvenir shops now or restaurants; I was expecting more museums, but if this is a means to preserve the houses and this bastion of history, then I'd be fine with that.

Looking for more unique souvenirs? Check out these mini furniture that would make for an interesting house display. There are also salvaged turn-of-the-century doors and windows that you can purchase for decor.

Clubbing in the 20th century. Haha!

Calle Crisologo is quite a long stretch so don't forget to hydrate. Try this local beverage, Sugarcane Juice, for a change!

Calle Crisologo at night. You can eat by the sidewalk at night!


1. Best time to visit this place: 4 P.M.

In my last post about my Ilocos adventure, I'll muse about food and where to find the best delicacies and restaurants!

Check out my Ilocos itinerary and budget breakdown:

 *Please note that we got the van and driver at a very cheap price because one of our friends owns a car rental service. Regular 4-day rate of a van + driver is around P15,000.00 so standard total per person will be somewhere between P7,675-P8,000.

My other travel guides in the beautiful province of Ilocos:

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7 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Whoa this is the post that I'm waiting for! Hope you could do a food series too!

  2. Thank you for sharing to us the Ilocos.I really want to visit this place too, all the places you featured was so beautiful especially the Paoay church.Its been always my dream to travel around the Philippines before travelling the other countries(^-^) I love all your photos! My eyes was so amaze, I am very happy^̮^

  3. I dont know why, but I had goosebumps when I saw your exterior picture of the Paoay Church. And oh, the Heritage Village is so lovely! I heard there's a McDonald's outlet na pina throwback talaga ang design. Excited for your food blog!!!

  4. Hi Ms M! Thank you for bringing us to Ilocos! hehe.. feeling ko tru your post nakatravel na din ako..

    Vigan is one of the places i would love to travel with my family.. I heard a lot from this place! Even see a lot of their delicacies! Hay.. one day I would step on that land..

    More TBJ travel tours!!! wohoo!

  5. Loving your blog posts ms. Martha! I was able to virtually travel to Ilocos thru your blog posts. ^^ I really want to go to Heritage Village, it really reminds me of our past generations.

  6. WOW! I cannot wait to graduate. I really want to travel. Thanks for including all your expenses.


    ILOCOS is such a beautiful place! Heritage village reminds me of our past generations. I love how you promote tourism.


Thank you for your comments!