Bike Adventure: Manila to Vigan, Ilocos Sur

The heritage site of Vigan represents the blending of cultures (Asian-European) that is worth visiting among the different places north of the Philippines. The classic architecture as well as unique food and cultural experiences offered in the city should be part of the tourist’s long bucketlist.

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Classic Calle Crisologo

Last December 2015, we had a chance to visit the city as we were heading to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Though I had enjoyed Vigan a few hours, I missed the opportunity to get to the know city more and with that in mind, several friends and I decided to head out to this wonderful city for a multiday tour.

Day 1 (Manila to Urdaneta, Pangasinan, approximately 200km)

8 of us converged at the Valenzuela town center as we took the national highway route (the most common one if you intend to go north). Our target for the day was Urdaneta, Pangasinan-roughly around 200km from my place (Las Pinas City)…

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Her first time to do a multiday tour and she has to have that arch collection!

We rode out early and had breakfast at the lugawan near the arch of Bulacan…

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Lugaw and other sides at Bulacan

Moving on, we got past Bulacan and Pampanga with relative ease given that the heat wasnt too much and traffic was fine…Unfortunately, one had to back out somewhere in Angeles due to an emergency…

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Pampanga

Of course, one of the dreaded stretches of this route Tarlac City-this is my third time to pass here and the heat and lengthy flat sections just made us want to end our trip immediately.

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the ever ‘exciting’ entrance of Tarlac city (you gotta love the heat and lengthy stretches of flat roads urgh!) (c) Rahnel Sison

Moving on, we arrived at Urdaneta Pangasinan around 8ish-and spent the night in M’s motel (700 per night good for 2 people-the place was ok since youre just after a shower and decent sleep)

Day 2 (Urdaneta to Taguiden, Ilocos Sur, approximately 140km)

To start our day, our fellow cyclist from our local bike group invited us for breakfast at his place at Pozzorubio, Pangasinan…Aside from exchanging stories and enjoying food, we also  talked about different builds and potential tours in the future…we left a little bit before lunch time…

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our host picking us up at Pozzorubio

 

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breakfast at our host’s house
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ride out for day 2

Though we got past different towns easily, it became a bit difficult at La Union (Bacnotan-Sudipen) as the roads became narrower and by nightfall, several buses and trucks were out-good thing, we reached Taguiden, Ilocos Sur in one piece and checked in at Edibel inn (the place is just plain terrible-no light in the bathroom, plenty of mosquitoes and weak airconditioning!)

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The entrance to La Union
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Agoo, Pangasinan
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the Church at Agoo

Day 3 (Taguiden, Ilocos Sur-Vigan, Approximately 90km)

Some of our friends rode early but I and another ride cyclist rode out late as we waited for another biker who needed to make up for lost distance from yesterday’s target…the exciting thing about this day is that not only did we reach our destination but also had fun checking out the wonderful seaside sites, and other structures before the city of Vigan…

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60km away from Vigan
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Located at Candon City, You should try their papaitan and caldereta-highly recommended!
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taking a rest at a police station in Santiago Ilocos Sur
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Loving the seaside

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A few Kilometers more before Vigan
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Finally Reaching Bantay Church, Ilocos Sur
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The Entrance to the Heritage City of Vigan
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Vigan Catherdral
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classic architecture 
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Along Calle Crisologo
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must try-Longganisa from Vigan!
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Native Delicacies, Okoy and Empanada
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a must try restaurant!
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Bagnet from Cafe Leona is a winner!
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Photo Op with the former Governor of Ilocos Sur
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gotta love the horses

Rider Notes:

 

  1. Though some groups who earlier toured Vigan claim that you can reach the place in two days, it is sensible to schedule it with an additional day to address concerns about delays in the trip. Again, based on personal preference, I’d rather spread my effort out equally in a number of days rather than burn ourselves out just for the sake of reaching the place in the shortest time possible. Having an additional day allows you to adjust your itinerary (our day 2 target was Candon City but ended up 20km short-which was fine since we only needed to travel a shorter distance for the third day).

 

  1. One of the new things we’ve experienced here is that we were invited by bikers based in certain areas-such as the case in Pozzorubio. In cases like these, it is nice to accept invitations as this helps widen your network of friends along the way. Of course, it would be rude and disrespectful to simply eat and run-so hang out a bit, tell stories and plan bigger trips with them! Too bad we weren’t able to meet bikers from Agoo who also wanted to see us-perhaps next time.

 

  1. There are several transient houses in Vigan which charge really low rates (in our case, 500 with breakfast-very nice place and highly recommended!)
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transient house where we stayed-very roomy and clean! they serve breakfast too!

 

 

  1. If you want to get home by Bus, take the Partas Bus line. This is my second time to ride their buses and the trip was pleasant and quite fast-consider leaving early evening since traffic is lighter. Also, leaving late evening allows you to tour the place. In this case, we  enjoyed moving around Vigan, taking pictures and choosing the best restaurants in town
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The Large Partas Buses can accommodate the storage of your bikes going home

5. Budget is key in this trip. Though it is sensible to allot 300-500 for your lodging be prepared to shell out as much as 700 at La Union (if you intend to stay for a night) as decent places here seem to charge a bit higher-again, based on preference, I’d rather spend a little bit more for decent sleep rather than save up a few hundred pesos and deny myself of comfortable rest.

 

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11 thoughts on “Bike Adventure: Manila to Vigan, Ilocos Sur

  1. Hi, we’re planning a 2-day trip from QC to La Union. I’m looking for a place to stay for the night in Pangasinan, Tarlac or Pampanga. In your post https://pedalpowerphilippines.com/2016/11/01/bike-adventure-manila-to-vigan-ilocos-sur/ , you mentioned that you stayed at M’s Motel. I’ve tried searching for them, but couldn’t find it. Could you please share their contact details?
    Also, if you have a map of your route, would it be possible to share that as well?
    Thanks!
    Eman

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi sir…so sorry but i dont have a number but my strava route could show it (check my about section in the blog)…here’s the directions though-once you reach the center of urdaneta city-look for chowking -that’s to your right and from there, take the first right turn (andok’s is your landmark) and just go straight-you wont miss it-i hope that helps and i apologize if i didnt get their phone number sir

      Like

    1. Many thanks sir if nabasa po ninyo yung blog entry nakalagay po dun m’s apartelle sa urdaneta, edibel sa taguiden ilocos sur and sa vigan asa blog entry po ang name you may contact them po via fb…i hope that helps and goodluck po on your trip

      Like

      1. Sensya hindi napansin halos lahat ng nasa blog entry. Nakakaamaze kase yung ride ninyo sir! 😀 Anyway, thank you so much for this info.. Hope makasabay kita sa padyak soon! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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