Before heading to the Heritage Village, I was expecting to only find old houses and museums and that it would be so hard to look for cheap pasalubongs. Wrong and wrong. Calle Crisologo is actually a whole stretch of souvenir and antique shops. Being a sucker for souvenirs, my initial reaction after seeing this awesome strip of pasalubong goodness was between OH MY #$@%#@$ GAAAHD and HELL YEEEEEAH! :))
It was heaven -- and a trap ;p A few seconds into our walking tour and I already spotted Islands Souvenirs. It wasn't so difficult to see its orange logo in vivid contrast against the cream and brown houses in Calle Crisologo. The shop signaled the start of my personal pasalubong fest :) I felt like I was in some kind of a reality show -- a race against time set by my impatient parents and with only a few hundred pesos in my pocket but a dozen or two in my people-to-give-pasalubong-to list -- it was chaotic (in a positive way)! :))
The [self-confessed] old soul in me got distracted for a while. My inner tipikal turista mode was automatically switched on after seeing stalls after stalls of pasalubong and alas, it got the better of me ;p I mean, P80 for a decent t-shirt, P10 for a cute key chain and P80 for a turista hat? If you're familiar with 9GAG, you'd agree with me that the best meme for that momentous event would be "Shut up and take my money!!" :))
And the best thing about this is that everything is cheap! You can buy loads of pasalubong already with your P500. I'm not even kidding. Compared to other tourist destinations where I feel "robbed" after buying pasalubong, Vigan is very light to the pocket. Except of course for the famous bagnet, which costs P360 to P400 a kilo or the Vigan longganisa that costs P100/kilo.
I seriously hope that I'm not the only one suffering from this "disorder" :p How about you? When was the last time you lost track of how many hours you've actually spent looking for cheap finds? :)
All photos in this post are properties of Juan "Toto" Luna.