Was So At Home Inside The Syquia Mansion

The highlight of travelling and exploring the City of Vigan is not just its iconic Calle Crisologo.  This is because a stone throw away from this emblematic street is the Syquia Mansion.

social climber!

mirror mirror on the wall! who’s the richest of them all?

fresh air!

Well-preserved Syquia Mansion will give you an interesting glimpse of the lifestyle of a wealthy family during the Spanish colonial times.  The majestic furniture will provide you hints on how prominent people in the past would conduct their lives. 

They have an ante-living-room and a main living room! You would wonder how many living rooms do rich people need to live a full life.  It is also amazing to know that affluent human beings in the past actually have a prayer room where they gather to pray the Angelus.

Paintings and sculptures scattered around the mansion were no doubt masterpieces!  Skillful craftsmen were obviously commissioned to build the comfy beds, dressers and sofas!

bed inside the principal bedroom

hagdan (stairs)

Also, monied folks during those times though prayerful and have lavish chambers for prayers actually have slaves (known as Aliping Saguiguilid).  And these slave-servants – who cannot marry without their master’s consent – only has limited access in the house which usually is the narrow hallway borders of the building!

so at home… one of the massive bedrooms…

at the dining hall

Contents of the super house no doubt is indeed for the rich! And while breathing and walking within the confines of the house, the social climber in me whispers that I am so at home inside the Syquia Mansion!

Hotel Luna’s Sapsapuriket

Kicking modesty aside and based on my sense of taste’s practical background of experience, I think I have reason enough to say that I have the authority to judge if a Dinuguan is excellent, atrocious or just passable. Dinuguan is a savage Filipino dish known as pork blood stew!

I am saying this because I know what an excellent Dinuguan tastes like.  I just happen to be the son of the best Dinuguan maker on the planet.  Nengkoy’s Dinuguan is so delicious, this ferocious-looking dish would often be one of the most requested part of our family’s handa (food served during special occasions).

sapsapuriket

looks scary… yum!

My recent visit to the City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur exposed me however to a different variety of a Dinuguan.  Locals call it Sapsapuriket!  It is a blood stew variety in which the meat is not pork but the tasty cage-free native chicken. And the blood used to make the stew was not pig’s blood but from the fowl’s fluid that runs through its veins and arteries (Hahaha!).

I was fortunate that my first time eating of the savage Sapsapuriket was in Comedor, the restaurant outlet of the well-esteemed Hotel Luna in Vigan.  One would know that Hotel Luna’s Sapsapuriket is special, for it is served with potato cracklings instead of the usual rice. The hotel’s style of pairing the dish with potato chips was actually a success.  Texture on the palate plus tangy flavor of the pair was something to praise about!

comedor… dining at hotel luna

loved my short stay in vigan (inside a souvenir shop)

I am writing about Sapsapuriket, the Dinuguan of the north, so I guess, this dish served by Hotel Luna’s Comedor is something to praise and look forward to when in Vigan.

Queendom Called Vigan

The ongoing world-wide corona virus scare and outbreak made me defer any plans of going out of the country.  No way would I want to be quarantined for 14 long days!  This virulent virus however can not stop me from my being a wanderlust.

Instead of trooping out of the country, I settled domestic!  I went 9-hours by a sleeper-bus away from Manila and went to the Ilocos part of the Philippines and roam the queendom of Vigan.

travel back in time at calle crisologo

i heart vigan

Believe it or not, it was my first time in this rustic UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This queen city of the north of Philippines is actually one of the very few old colonial towns left in the country.  And what is so amazing is that the residents, though with struggle, were able to preserve the Spanish colonial era structures of the town.

While traversing the iconic Calle Crisologo at the heart of the city, I cannot seem to stop imagining that at any moment I would bump unto a European price, a Portuguese Duke or the Spanish Royal Guard who have gone for some leisurely vacay in the Philippines!

love this shot

antique finds!!!

so at home at casa syquia

rustic evening!

find me! hahaha!

Though some of the structures within the city were evidently abandoned, neglected and left to decay, the small impressive city obviously displays the cultural elements of Europe, China and the Philippines!  In fact some of the abandoned and decaying structures adds up to the charm and pleasing character of the area.

Because of the uniqueness of its character, I think I love Vigan!  And aside from taking tons of photos of the cityscape, my travel to Vigan took me the opportunity to taste and enjoy the Ilocano-cuisine, which I will feature in my future and upcoming posts.