Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ilocos Sur: Tres de Mayo Festival in Vigan, Ilocos Sur (Day 3)

Tres de Mayo is a centuries-old fiesta of Vigan citizens to honor the Santo Cristo Milagroso or Apo Lakay. It is held annually every third of May. The day starts with a 6 a.m. Mass at the Simbaan a Bassit or Vigan's Cemetery Chapel.

I wasn't able to see the Mass last year. So I made sure to get up early this year to attend Mass which is celebrated by the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia on a makeshift altar built under a canopy of fruits and other produce in front of the chapel. While Mass was going on, I also visited the Santo Cristo Milagroso inside the chapel.

Since it was still too early for breakfast at the hotel, I decided to walk around Vigan while there were still no people. It's best to take shots of the architecture early in the morning when Vigan's streets are deserted.

After breakfast, our group visited the ancestral home of Engr. Ric Favis of UNESCO and the Syquia Mansion before proceeding to Hidden Garden Restaurant for an Ilocano lunch.

Crisologo Street is again the focal point for the afternoon activities. Vigan's Chinese roots become evident as a lion dance troupe makes its way around the various shops owned by Chinese-Filipinos. But there are no fire crackers though which always accompanies this practice. Later in the afternoon, we watched the Kalesa Parade.

During the day, notice the ramadas or makeshift canopies decorated with produce that are constructed around the city as part of Tres de Mayo. The ramadas become focal points for each neighborhood during the afternoon since traditional Filipino games are organized for kids and kids at heart under these canopies.

I walked to one of the ramadas while our group was having merienda at Abuelita's Restaurant. After the heavy snack composed of miki, bibingka and empanada. We drove back to Manila which took us about 9  hours with a dinner stop of course.

Part 1: Road trip to Pagudpud
Part 2: Road trip from Pagudpud to Vigan
Part 3: Arce Mansion in Vigan, a colonial Ilocano dinner experience
Part 4: Historic Town of Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part 6: Where to stay in Vigan (Hotels & Accommodation)

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