The Philippines has a lot of places that stood the test of time and served as witnesses to many historical events, dating back from the pre-colonial period to the freedom wars. One of those is Vigan where we can see the famous Calle Crisologo. 

Calle Crisologo is a street of old Spanish structures, mostly houses of wealthy families and Filipino-Chinese traders. This is where you’ll see the famous cobblestone streets that represent Vigan’s image. 

Read on to learn more about Calle Crisologo and be in awe not just by its preserved edifices but also in its history.

Calle Crisologo History

a kalesa at calle crisologo

Unknown to many, before the name Calle Crisologo street, it was called Calle Escolta de Vigan upon the discovery of the town by Juan de Salcedo in 1572. The street served as the commercial hub in the entire Northern Luzon and was established even before the Galleon Trade.

Calle Crisologo was also called “Kasanglayan” (place of the Chinese), which was the business center of the foreign migratory traders including Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese and other European businessmen.

 In the late 1890s, the Calle de Escolta De Vigan was renamed to Washington Street during the American rule. On September 1, 1901, the Americans had established a civil government in Ilocos Sur with Don Mena Crisologo, a delegate to the Malolos Congress, as the first provincial governor.

Crisologo was highly revered by Ilocanos as a writer and politician. After retiring from government service, he died on July 5, 1927 at the age of 82. Following Crisologo’s death, Washington Street was renamed again to Mena Crisologo Street in honor of the late governor.

Through the years, Mena Crisologo Street or now known as Calle Crisologo became famous as it served as the center of well-preserved houses and remains as the main attraction in Vigan.

Vigan Love Story

calle crisologo vigan tourist spots

Most of the streets we navigate now had been the sites of massive destruction during World War II seven decades ago. But have you ever wondered why Vigan survived and remained preserved all these years? 

Well, the answer has something to do with matters of the heart. 

According to tales about the Calle Crisologo love story, two love affairs between Filipinas and Japanese officers blossomed during World War II. The first was between Belen Castillo and Major Sakae Narioka; the second involved Adela Tolentino and Captain Fujiro Takahashi, both couples got married. 

So concerned were the Japanese officers for their families that they bravely defied their superiors’ orders to burn Vigan. All they asked for their acts of courage was that their loved ones be spared by the citizenry from the unfortunate fate of others who had become intimately associated with the departing defeated former conquerors.

Another story about Vigan is that the Americans wanted to bomb Vigan because of the presence of the Japanese but the bombing was aborted and redirected to another place because Fr. Joseph Klecamf, then parish priest of Vigan, told the Americans that there were no more Japanese soldiers in the area.

It was believed that Klecamf was requested by two Japanese officers, Takahashi and Narioka, not to allow Vigan to be bombed as their families were living there.

The Americans listened to the call of the priest not to bomb Vigan.

Things to Do in Calle Crisologo

1. Take a history tour

calle crisologo at night

Calle Crisologo is more than just a cobblestone street but also has a rich history you should know about. From the Calle Crisologo description to Calle Crisologo love story (which is by the way heartwarming), you’ll definitely be entertained!

2. Shop

shops at calle crisologo

Calle Crisologo street is a shopping haven! You will see the whole street lined up with lots of cool restaurants, souvenir shops, and antique shops. The best part, everything is so affordable so you don’t have to spend a fortune when shopping for souvenirs.

3. Food trip

vigan empanada

Calle Crisologo location is a haven for foodies! Wherever you look, you’ll find an exquisite restaurant, hole-in-the-wall cafes, or eateries that serve oh-so-yummy food! When in Vigan, you must try their famous Vigan longganisa and empanada!

4. Ride the kalesa

horse carriage sat calle crisologo

Riding the horse carriage or kalesa is a famous mode of transportation in Calle Crisologo street. The rates range from PHP 500 depending on how far and how long you’ll rent it. 

5. Take lots of photos

calle crisologo restaurants

A lot of it! Because how can you not? Every corner of Vigan, especially Calle Crisologo, is Instagrammable! 

Calle Crisologo Address

Calle Crisologo is located in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Click this link to navigate the map.


How to go to Calle Crisologo Vigan

Depending on your transportation budget and schedule, there are commonly two options on how to go to Calle Crisologo Vigan: land travel and plane. For land travel, going to Vigan from Manila will take roughly 8-10 hours.

By Bus

The cheapest and common way to travel to Vigan is by bus. Some of the buses that have direct trips daily are Partas, Dominion Bus Lines, Viron Transit, and St. Joseph/Aniceto Transit, while Philippine Rabbit Bus Line, Fariñas, Maria de Leon, Florida, Baliwag, and RCJ Transit have regular trips that pass by Vigan via the Manila-Laoag route.

By Private Car

From Manila, you should take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) route.

By Plane

If you have a tight schedule and want to save time, you can opt to travel by plane. However, there are no direct flights to Vigan, but you can fly from Manila to Laoag Airport and ride a bus to Vigan. The entire trip will take around 3 hours. 

Where to stay in Vigan

Here’s a list of the best places to stay in Vigan and hotels near Calle Crisologo. Make sure to book your hotels at ZEN Rooms to enjoy quality accommodations at affordable prices.

  1. ZEN Rooms Balai Mestizo Vigan
    Price: From PHP 600/night
  2. ZEN Rooms Casa Marita Vigan
    Price: From PHP 1700/night
  3. ZEN Rooms Calle Crisologo Vigan
    Price: From PHP 2500/night
  4. ZEN Rooms Basic Metro Vigan Inn
    Price: From PHP 599/night

Frequently Asked Questions About Calle Crisologo

Q: What is the meaning of Calle Crisologo?

A: Calle Crisologo is the main attraction in Vigan. This famous street was named after a writer and politician Don Mena Crisologo.

Q: Who is Crisologo of Vigan?

A: The Crisologo of Vigan is the writer and politician Don Mena Crisologo.

Q: What is Vigan famous for?

A: Vigan is famous for its well-preserved Spanish Colonial town, historical Vigan tourist spots, and delicious food and delicacies. Because of Vigan’s old-world charm, it has been inscribed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Q: What are the best things to do in Vigan?

A: Vigan is such a great destination where you can enjoy lots of things! Here are some if the most fun activities to try in Vigan:

  1. Take a history tour
  2. Shop
  3. Food trip
  4. Ride the kalesa
  5. Take lots of photos
  6. Visit the Vigan Cathedral
  7. Watch the dancing Fountain

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