Calle Crisologo (Mena Crisologo Street)

Calle Crosologo, also known as Mena Crisologo Street  in Vigan City is the most popular tourist attraction in the province of Ilocos Sur.  Named after Mena Pecson Crisologo, one of the most respected sons of Ilocos Sur.  He wrote Mining Wenno Ayat Ti Karawa, an Ilocano translation of Don Quixote entitled Don Calixtofaro de la Kota Caballero de la Luna; and a zarzuela entitled Codigo Municipal.  Many compare this to Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.
Calle Crisologo during daytime
Calle Crisologo during nightime
This mestizo street is full of old Spanish-style houses that will make you realize that this kind of old era really exists. Four blocks of cobblestones line with old houses, will give you an experience being transported into a Hispanic-era.
This street is best explored both at day and at night. During the day, you can walk the street and check on the houses that were converted into stores.  Or eat in one of the houses converted into a restaurant. At night, the effect of the lights give more emphasis on the old houses. It added the old and Hispanic ambiance to the street.
Kalesas you can ride touring Calle Crisologo

Walking along the street is fine, but the best way to explore Calle Crisologo is via a Kalesa ride.  Kalesa or Caritela is a horse-drawn carriage introduced by the Spaniards to the Filipinos during the colonization. During that time, riding the Kalesa is reserved to nobles and high-ranking officials only.  
So if you really want to feel noble and enjoy the scenery, Kalesa ride is a must. Kalesa tour takes a couple of hours.  You can just ask the owner to pick you up from your hotel.  Or if you are already in at the entrance of the hotel, you can always hail a kalesa for a tour.
One of the old houses that was converted into a store
Antiques sold by one of the stores
The tour, actually does not only include the tour of Calle Crisologo, but also a visit to Syquia Manson, Crisologo Museum, Bantay Church & Belfry & the Burnay Pottery. Kalesa is actually one of the mode of transportations in Vigan aside from tricycles. 
Items sold by one of the stores
Even though there's a lot of Kalesa around, you will not be confused as to who you tour guide is, because the kalesa has a number and a name. I love riding the Kalesa and hearing the sound of the clacking of the horseshoes.  And since the street is closed for vehicles, other than the Kalesa, you can close your eyes for a moment can imagine being in that era.
During the tour you will see the four blocks of cobblestones streets lined with the historical houses.  The houses are simple yet picture-perfect with their red bricks roof, huge doors & lots of sliding capiz shell windows.  Some of the houses really look old and others really look well-maintained. I wonder how these houses survived the natural calamities and how much the owners spend on the maintenance.
One of the houses that converted into a restaurant
Our tour guide in the Syquia Museum said, Ilocos Sur, specifically Vigan City was not destroyed by the Japanese during the World War II because the wife of one of one of the official is a native here.  Not sure if true, but thinking about how these houses survived, it's a possibility.
Some of the old houses along the street
A visit to this place will give you self-satisfaction. At least you can compare how Filipinos live their lives during the Spanish era.  

Kalesa Tour: Php150.00/hour per Kalesa

Currently Vigan City is one of the 14 finalists in the New 7 Wonder Cities. The final result will be announced on December 7, 2014.  To vote, please visit


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