VIGAN ILOCOS SUR: Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel

VIGAN ILOCOS SUR: Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel


A beautiful illumination of Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel ( MVFG Hotel) facade greeted me when I alighted along Bantay, Ilocos Sur from a (twelve) 12-hour bus ride from Manila.    

As I step inside the modern hotel main door I was welcomed with a smile by the hotel guest relations officer (GRO) in the front receptionist desk even though it was just 5 o’clock in the morning. It was nice to be welcomed with so much warmth. No wonder the Ilocanos are famous for being hospitable all over the world. A good first impression indeed!

Just across the hotel reception desk is a comfortable sofa, an unpainted wood carving, plants and a wall made of small square mirrors, tiled out to look like a window to give the optical illusion of what you wish was there, instead of what really is a mirror. It was indeed a very good way to make the area look wider. It has created a larger more open-feeling space, that also gives depth to the space without weighing things down.  


Did you know that?

Mirrors are useful when space is short, they can also bring a wow factor to a well-proportioned room, lending a sense of drama while maximizing the feeling of size. 
I learned these information from my architect neighbour / friend Joyce.  She further said that a space combined with a soaring ceiling will instantly doubled by adding a wall of framed mirrors and mirrored doors. The end result will be a lovely sense of symmetry, and you can further make it twice as fabulous by adding a showstopper chandelier and everything in that space will be awesome! 

Geez, those throw pillows are so dainty! It features a woman in a Filipiniana attire.

To tell you the truth, I was not expecting much about the hotel when I decided to go and visit Vigan the second time around. I thought almost all hotels in Vigan are old or if they look new they were just remodeled from old houses and were then converted into hotels. But my jaw literally dropped when I first saw this European-style hotel in its glorious glory. It was love at first sight. I can still vividly recall how wide-eyed I was when I stepped out of the bus and saw the hotel’s beautiful illumination against the dark backdrop of the early morning twilight. That awesome feeling was immediately reinforced when I saw the wooden carvings beautifully hand-carved standing tall at the reception area and were present in every door of the hotel.

Just adjacent the main hotel building is the building that houses the Spa and Jacuzzi room of Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel. Again, the use of mirrors provided a beautiful illumination of its surroundings and bounces the light around and brighten the space. Note: Did you noticed the beautiful cobblestone flooring?  It looks just like the flooring in Calle Crisologo!

This particular photo was taken and owned by Kev Hernandez. Thank you Kev!   

As you traverse the hallway going to the hotel’s restaurant or to the hotel’s vip room located at the second floor,  you’ll pass through this wonderful view.

The MVFG Hotel’s Fountain

As you climb the stairs,  you can’t help but notice the beautiful wood carvings of the hotel’s initials conveniently stashed at the vertical metal stair handrails.

Beautifully carved ceiling of the Fiesta Garden Hotel.

Feel that European vibe when you eat breakfast at the hotel’s patio.  That “European feel” is the primary reason why many guests preferred to eat and hold their meetings there.

The hand-carved door of the hotel’s presidential suite. 

Each room is elegantly designed to give a festive vibe for a most relaxing stay.  I can say that I discover comfort in all of the rooms with uniquely accented “carved fiesta theme” doors. 

I was bowled over by the festive artwork on each of the wooden door of the 53-Rooms Hotel. I bet you’ll also appreciate each of the masterfully carved festive door carvings that they had made all the way from Paete, Laguna. Whoah! What a dedication to Filipino art and culture!

Picture this out on your mind, each room door showcases different Filipino culture and life in general during festivals better known as “fiesta”.
The door art depicts Filipino games, dance that can be played with friends, relatives, neighbours such as “Palo Sebo” Akyat Kawayan” (A Philippine game of speed, wit, strategy, coordination, endurance and physical power using kawayan (bamboo pole),  Luksong-tinik, Tinikling dance, “sabong”( cockfight ), “Tuba drinking spree”,”harana”. 
It also depicts the deep relationship/ bonding between Filipino family members as they live their day to day family life.  It also features Filipinos love affair with horse carriage.  Family bonding, buying “lobo” ( balloons) for their kids. Filipinos genuinely love fiestas, balloons, grilling lechon, farm life, 
This photo was taken at the dining table of the presidential suite.

The Presidential suite bedroom. My bed. Joke. Hi hi hi! I wish #WishKoLang

DeLuxe room.

Our breakfast of rice and scrambled eggs on our first and second day at the Fiesta Garden Hotel.

The scrambled eggs at MVFG Hotel is sweet and tasty.  
Yummy rice.

Dinner for (7) seven people.
Magnificent seven.
Photo taken at the MVFG Hotel’s restaurant.
 The swimming pool of MVFG Hotel.
Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel’s Swimming Pool.  

My fellow blogger, Vigan’s number one travel blogger Edmar and I had a great time when we went night swimming in this beautiful swimming pool. It was very convenient because you could take a shower anytime of the day or night because hot water is readily available in every room.

MVFG Hotel’s pathway to the restaurant.

The best place to stay


When in Vigan, Fiesta Garden Hotel is my hotel of choice because it is very accessible to everything. In just 5 minutes you’ll be at the bus terminal going to Manila. I rode one of the buses bound for Laoag in Pasay city which passes by the hotel’s entrance. I paid Php680 for an ordinary aircon bus. I alighted at the very door of the hotel! Woooottt! Easy peasy! 
For me, MVFG hotel is a breath of fresh air from the usual old houses transformed into a hotel in Vigan. It is conveniently located along the national highway in Guimod, Bantay, Metro Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It’s around 10 minutes drive away from the various tourist spots in Vigan.
My fellow blogger friends and I had a great time exploring Ilocos with the modern Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel as our home-based for 4 days and 4 nights! We learned from the hotel staff that Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel started as a restaurant and transformed itself into a spa hotel. 
Technically, the location of the hotel is already in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, but is part of what is called Metro Vigan. The rooms are huge and allows you to move freely. I love the fact that the air-conditioning unit were individually controlled and not centralized that way we can easily adjust the temperature in our room. It also has a mini refrigerator, Safety deposit box, hot and cold shower, Coffee-making facility, shampoo, conditioner, bath soap,  flat screen TV and cable, plus a wifi internet access among other amenities. There is also a big swimming pool with slides which we tried on our second night at the hotel. The hotel is located just along the highway so it is very accessible. The whole hotel is actually adorned with the colorful wood-carved murals that can be seen on the hotel lobby, restaurant and on each door of the hotel.
Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel is Rated as a 3-star hotel only because it lacks one executive suite thus if the construction is finished they could be rated as a 4-star hotel real  soon.  It features an impressive bathroom with an option of hot or cold rain shower and flexible shower. It has a high tech toilet bowl, it is like staying in a four star hotel in Metro Manila. I’ll definitely go back in this hotel with my family next time around.

The hotel is charming, it actually captured my heart. Especially during night time when all of its lights are open. 

I also appreciate the fact that they provide newspaper every morning for their hotel guests.

It also provide its guests with coffee, water, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, lotion, slippers and the very important deposit box.
Room Tip: choose rooms near the pool or near the lobby

Located in Vigan, Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Ilocos Sur. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience such as:
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms 
  • Cable TV 
  • Mini refrigerator 
  • 24-hour security 
  • daily housekeeping 
  • printer 
  • 24-hour front desk are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Some of the well-appointed guestrooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, desk. The hotel’s peaceful atmosphere extends to its recreational facilities which include dart board, outdoor pool, spa, massage, garden. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Ilocos Sur, Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel will make you feel instantly at home.

Be greeted with a smile and warm hospitality of the North as you celebrate your special occasions, events and gatherings in the FG Pavilion. Take pleasure in the festivity of Ilocano dishes at the Garden Fiesta Restaurant where delectable fiesta-inspired dishes are served.
Giving a new-look to Metro Vigan is the The Lounge ( VIP Room) where guests can relax and enjoy good music, assortment of drinks, house-blended cocktails and pica-pica.
The hotel was founded two (2) years ago by a group of friends. They’re actually experts in the field of medicine.  Yes, they’re all doctors by profession and businessmen on the side. 
Relax, stretch your arms and visit the province of Ilocos Sur and experience for yourself the Fiesta Garden Hotel Resort and Spa where each room is tastefully designed, giving it an attractively festive air for a most comforting stay. Find solace in all of their rooms with distinctively accentuated “carved fiesta themed” doors and equipped with air-conditioning, and an en suite bathroom in each.  Taste the delightful Ilocano dishes at the Garden Fiesta Restaurant where sumptuous fiesta-inspired food is served.  Unwind and swim to your heart’s desire in their luxurious pool as you enjoy everything else that the hotel has to offer.

Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel… a Place Like no Other where relaxation and festivity combine!  

Rating: 4 stars 

Travel pa more! 

Love your own!
Promote the Philippines!  The foreigners I’ve met praises the Philippines with so much passion and love!  They always say that we Filipinos are so lucky because we have a very beautiful country! So, what are you waiting? Travel the Philippines! Support local tourism!

Note: I paid for my own transportation going to and from Vigan but my hotel accommodation together with other bloggers were sponsored by MVFG Hotel.

Love more!

Cha

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BUS GOING TO VIGAN

PARTAS
Address: 816 Aurora Boulevard corner P. Bernardo St., Cubao 1109 Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 725-1740
Destination: Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province, Vigan in Ilocos Sur Province, Baguio in Benguet Province

DOMINION BUS LINES
Address: New York Street, Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 741-4146, 731-4180
Destination: San Fernando City in La Union Province, Vigan in Ilocos Sur Province and Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province

FARIÑAS TRANS
Address: Laong Laan corner M dela Fuente Street, Sampaloc, Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 743-8582
Destination: Vigan in Ilocos Sur Province and Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province

MARIA DE LEON
Address: Gelinos Street 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 731-4907
Destination: Vigan City in Ilocos Sur Province, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte Province

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC.
Address: 819 Oroquieta Street 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 734-9836
Destination: Angeles City in Pampanga Province, Tarlac City in Tarlac Province, Sta. Cruz in Zambales Province, Alaminos City and Bolinao in Pangasinan Province, Baguio in Benguet Province, San Fernando in La Union Province, Vigan in Ilocos Province, Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province

VIRON TRANSIT
Address: 1209 Blumentritt Cor. Dapitan St., Sampaloc 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 741-0405
Destination: Manaoag in Pangasinan Province, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur Province

VIGAN KALESA TOUR-VILLA ANGELA HERITAGE HOUSE

Manong kutsero brought me to the old house called Villa Angela Heritage House where the local movie “Maruja” was filmed.
Villa Angela Heritage House personifies the charm of old world Vigan. It is located along Quirino Boulevard.  Gobernadorcillo Agapito B. Florendo had it built in 1870 in a 2,000 square meter property.
Upon entering the garden of Villa Angela, you will see a wooden carriage, said to have been used by Irene Marcos, daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos. It was allegedly used to transport her to Sta. Monica Cathedral in Ilocos Norte on her wedding in 1983.
Villa Angela counts among its visitors Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. This heritage house is said to be where Tom Cruise stayed in 1989 while he was filming Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July. A picture of him with the owner hangs in one of the main rooms.
Villa Angela’s living room area has huge windows made of capiz or windowglass shells. There visitors can rest in big, old wooden chairs called butaka while imagining listening to the victrola (old phonograph) or giant harp that decorate the living room together with antique oil lamps and jars.
In the dining room or comedor, visitors will also see many antique dining and kitchen objects like copper pots, porcelain and china ware. There is even a huge old jar that was used to keep food fresh or chilled, much like a refrigerator.

Effort has been made in each room to keep the ambiance of the old Spanish period. That’s why Villa Angela has been used also for the filming of the movie “Jose Rizal.”
 

Villa Angela is opened to the public, as venue for weddings, birthdays, baptismal parties, workshops, meetings and other important gatherings. They specialize in catering traditional Ilocano food to guests and participants.
They are now also a bed and breakfast hotel. All the rooms are air-conditioned, with private baths and cable television. Breakfast is included in the rates. Guest  may choose to stay in the rooms with verandas and four-poster canopy beds.
Note: This is not a paid post. The author is a travel blogger and her passion is traveling on a shoe string. The Villa Angela tour is one of her stop during her kalesa tour.

VIGAN KALESA TOUR:Burnay Factory

VIGAN KALESA TOUR:Burnay Factory
My visit to the Burnay Factory in Vigan is one of the best ever experience I had in Vigan.

The Burnay Factory (earthen jar or pottery) at Barangay Pagburnayan, Vigan City is one of the best keep secrets of Vigan!

Hundreds of Burnay (earthen jar or pottery) is on display at the grounds of the factory.

If you find yourself  in Vigan, don’t you miss this place.

Nothing compares in seeing the earthen jars in person. 

I tried to make an earthen jar to no avail, so I just pose for posterity with the earthen jar made by the son of the owner. It is said that pottery making calms the mind and promotes relaxation so you better try it if you have time.

It is more fun in the Philippines! Visit and enjoy pottery making at the Burnay Factory in Vigan.

VIGAN KALESA TOUR- BELL TOWER AND ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH

VIGAN KALESA TOUR- BELL TOWER AND ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH
St. Augustine Church
After my tour around Padre Burgos house we went to Bantay Bell Tower and St. Augustine Church.
The St. Augustine Church is the oldest church in Region 1.  It is a beautiful old church with a glorious maroon and white façade.
 
This is where the original Panday movies by the late FPJ was shot according to manong kutsero.
Manong Kutsero (carriage driver) brought me to Bantay the next town after Vigan. There you will find the Bantay Bell Tower. Towering over the town, the Bantay Bell Tower is a sight to behold, standing separately over a hilltop next to the equally beautiful St. Augustine Parish Church.

The bell tower original structure was built by Augustinian Missionaries in 1591, most likely as a part of the parish church nearby.  It was made of bricks, rocks, and a mixture of seashells and sugar cane. There are hardly any renovations done to the structure, except for the repairs of the stairs inside the tower.
The bell tower stands on the tallest point in town.  It was used as a watch tower during the Spanish colonial period.  That’s the reason why the tower is named “bantay” which in Ilocano means “mountain” and “guard.”
Climbing up the second level of the belfry is no problem, but going up the third level may take a bit more guts. The wooden stairs are new, but the rickety sound and the tall open windows may trigger a heart attack to the weak. But mind you the views from both levels are absolutely breath-taking.  The bell tower provides a good view of the town and the mountain in the horizon.
The bell tower is also quite popular because according to manong kutsero because it is the  location of the film- Panday by the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ)
The next time you find yourself in Vigan, ride a kalesa ( horse carriage) and tour the different glorious locations of the province.

VIGAN KALESA TOUR PART THREE- FR. BURGOS MUSEUM

VIGAN KALESA TOUR PART THREE- FR. BURGOS MUSEUM

Our next kalesa stop is the nearby Padre Burgos Museum. Entrance fee is ten (Php 10) pesos. The museum is managed by staff from the National Museum. You can either explore the artifacts yourself or have a guide join you free of charge.

The Burgos Museum is open the entire week except for Mondays and holidays. Museum hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
                                                 
Fr. Burgos Museum in Vigan, Ilocos Sur is a two-storey ancestral house of the martyr-priest Padre Jose Burgos. The house was built in 1788 and owned by his grandparents Don Juan Gonzales and Doña Florentina Gascon. Despite the limited funds of the city, the museum has maintained its 19th century interior and its well-preserved kitchen.

                           

Antique collections and dioramas of local historical events can be found here along with a hall of fame for the Ilocano heroes and achievers.

                                                          Earthen Jars from yesteryears.       

                   This is their rain gears! The ever reliable salakot and rain coat with gasera.

                                

Fr. Jose Burgos museum contains his memorabilia along with an excellent collection of archaeological and ethnological finds such as a series of paintings dating back to Basi Revolt and records of the native reactions to colonialism.

The hot and cold water dispenser of Fr. Jose Burgos’ Family



This is the flat iron during Fr. Jose Burgos time. It was my first time to see a round flat iron like this:-)


Where to stay?


There are numerous options for accommodation in Vigan. Prices are very reasonable, typically around P 2500 pesos for a descent accommodations. Cheaper accommodation is available. The Villa Angela Heritage Hotel offers a good antique feel, but there are numerous quality options.


How to get there?


By plane via PAL. Upon landing in Laoag City visit Fort Ilocandia and enjoy the swimming pool and amenities they offer. Take a bus or hire a vehicle to take you to Vigan city which is about two (2) hours away.


By bus from Manila (about 8 hours).


Partas Transportation Co. Inc., located at #816 Aurora Boulevard, corner Arayat, Cubao, Quezon City. Buses leave Manila every hour.


Air-conditioned Bus Fare is P600. For more info call 724-98-20/ 725-17-40.


Other buses


Tip: Go to San Fernando, La Union first and enjoy the San Juan Surf Beach then get a bus to Vigan which takes 2-3 hours. Ask a local as to where the bus station is located.


How many days should I stay?


Overnight if you arrive early is sufficient to see most of the sights.


Tips and Comments 

  • Bagnet is delicious in Vigan. 
  • Buy at the local market it is cheaper there! 
  • I personally like the design of the shirts at Casa Rica.
  • You could haggle with the kutchero so don’t be afraid to make tawad hindi tuwad ha ha ha! Joke!

VIGAN KALESA TOUR PART TWO- AROUND TOWN

Plaza Salcedo Kalesa Station in front of St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral.

We passed by Vigan Municipal Hall

 
I like the McDo Building. It has a church like bell tower .
Vigan Builders Bank in front of Plaza Salcedo 

Vigan Cathedral 

 House of ex-Congressman Ronald Singson

 

 

Where to stay?

There are numerous options for accommodation in Vigan. Prices are reasonable, typically around P 2500 pesos for a descent accommodations. Cheaper accommodation is available. The Villa Angela Heritage Hotel offers a good antique feel, but there are numerous quality options. 

How to get there?
 

By plane via PAL. Upon landing visit Fort Ilocandia and enjoy the swimming pool and amenities they offer. 

By bus from Manila (about 8 hours). 

Partas Transportation Co. Inc., located at #816 Aurora Boulevard, corner Arayat, Cubao, Quezon City. Buses leave Manila every hour.
Air-conditioned Bus Fare is P 600. For more info call 724-98-20/ 725-17-40.


Tip:  Go to San Fernando, La Union first and enjoy the San Juan Surf Beach then get a bus to Vigan which takes 2-3 hours.  Ask a local as to where the bus station is located.

How many days should I stay?

Overnight if you arrive early is sufficient to see most of the sights.

Tips and Comments

Bagnet is delicious in Vigan. Buy at the local market it is cheaper there!


I like the design of the shirts at Casa Rica.

VIGAN KALESA TOUR

I was always fascinated with the old charm of Vigan. Vigan for me is the land of Bagnet and Longganisa. Omg! They make me tulo laway! Ha ha ha! Yummy yum yum!  I had a wonderful time roaming around in Vigan aboard a kalesa or horse drawn carriage which you could rent for P200 -300 per hour depending on your tawad skills. I was able to rent one for P200/ hour @ Plaza Salcedo in front of the Vigan Cathedral.
My first stop is the Vigan Cathedral.
The Vigan Cathedral also known as St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. During the Spanish times (1525), the Spaniards chose Vigan as their center of government. It was called the Villa Hernandina then the Spaniards built the Cathedral on this site in 1574 (by Juan de Salcedo) and was damaged in the earthquakes of 1619 and 1627. A second was built here in 1641 and the present baroque-style church was built in the 1800’s.

The Cathedral withstood many earthquakes, the latest was in 1990. The church is kept beautifully by the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. They just recently painted the Cathedral and it stands great with it’s fresh creamy-white  look.

 ARZOBISPADO DE NUEVA SEGOVIA
 The priest live in the convent beside the church.
 
Diocese of Nueva Segovia.

VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR: My Burnay Making Adventure

VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR: My Burnay Making Adventure
Pagburnayan Pottery Making in Vigan, Ilocos Sur is a popular destination among tourists.
When in Vigan, do what the Vigans do! 
I readily agreed when the Manong Kutsero (horse drawn carriage driver) ask me if I wanted to visit the Pagburnayan Factory. 
Arriving in the factory in a kalesa ( Horse drawn Carriage) distinguished tourists from locals. Not only because the locals know how to speak Ilocano but also because they usually ride the tricycle or walk around town.

I was filled with awe when I saw hundreds if not thousands of Burnay upon entering the factory! The burnay is an earthenware jar crafted by a potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel. It uses fine sand (anay) as a tempering material and fired at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground kiln that makes it is harder and more durable than other terra cotta. According to the Manong Kalesa driver who also serves as my guide, the local bagoong (fish sauce), sugarcane vinegar and basi wine would not taste as good if not fermented in stoneware burnay jars.

Burnay technology was brought to Vigan by Chinese artisans, who, according to Vigan folk historian Damaso King, came from Kwi-Sao, Chun-chiu province in Mainland China. As such, it may have existed in the area even before the coming of the Spaniards in 1572. These Chinese artisans who set up this cottage industry depended on the natives for their clay supply and labor.Fidel Go, owner of the Ruby Pottery and descendant of the first Chinese potter who came to Vigan, has his own account of the burnay industry’s history in Vigan.

Burnay Making

According to him, burnay technology was introduced to Vigan around 1890 by Pedro Go, a Chinese settler from Chinkang, in Fukien, Mainland China. He set up his camarin (jar factory) along what is now known as Rivero Street in Brgy. VIII. Around 1916, Ongkai Go, son of Pedro Go’s brother, came to the Philippines and worked with him, then went back to China to marry when he was 18 years old.

Ongkai came back to the Philippines around 1922, now with his cousin Igan Go, to set up their own jar factory, which is now known as Ruby Pottery. At such time, there were five (5) burnay factories in Vigan – that of Pedro Go, of Igan Go, and of relatives Ramon Go (owner of RG Jar Factory), Buki Go, and Domingo Go. The separate camarin of the last four (4) were all along what is now known as Gomez Street in Brgy. VII.

Fidel Go is the son of the late Ongkai and inherited the Ruby Pottery from Igan Go. He was awarded the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Folk Artist Award) of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1990 for continuing the craft he inherited and for himself knowing all the rudiments of the craft. He claims that between the two (2) surviving Chinese-owned jar factories, he is the only one (now with one of his sons) who still does pottery himself.

Zosima Amistad, wife of Pedro Amistad, the proprietor-potter of NP Jar Factory, supplies supplementary information to Fidel Go’s story.

She remembers that there used to be seven (7) jar factories (presumably at a time when Pedro Go’s camarin already went out of operation). Aside from the four (4) already mentioned, there were those of Filipinos Jovencio Adora along the present Katipunan Street, Nicolas Amistad, and Evaristo Amistad whose camarin were near the southern end of Rizal Street.

Nicolas Amistad and Evaristo Amistad were the son and nephew of Iban Amistad respectively. Iban Amistad learned the craft while working as cook of one of the Chinese factory owners. According to Zosima, Iban learned to mold jars in the potter’s wheel while his Chinese master went away to gamble. He then taught his son Nicolas who later set up the NP Jar Factory. Nicolas’ son, Pedro Amistad, inherited the said jar factory and like Fidel Go, himself molds jars, sometimes with the help of one son.

Today’s Barangay VII is still more popularly known as Pagburnayan, which literally means “place where burnay is made”. This section was so aptly called because all the burnay camarin (cottage factories) were located in this southwesternmost part of the poblacion.

But about 15 years ago, there were only four (4) burnay factories left in Vigan. Three (3) belonged to Barangay VII’s jurisdiction, and one (1) under Barangay VIII, but all were neighbors.

However, one of the burnay factories (that within Barangay VIII) ceased its operations in the last decade. Presently, three (3) burnay factories remain: RG Jar Factory, Ruby Pottery, and NP Jar Factory. These burnay factories are the only ones found throughout the country.

At present, a variety of burnay products are made, mostly for decorative functions. These are jars of different shapes, sizes and designs, plant pots, ashtrays and others.

These are marketed within the country and abroad. The factory owners’ business contacts, other local and foreign traders order the jars with specifications or purchase these on the spot. About four (4) traders from Bulacan and some others from Manila frequent the jar factories in Vigan. It is said that the Bulacan Garden in Manila is the strongest dealer of burnay. Other Filipino and foreign exporters also patronize the Vigan burnay jars.

Volume purchases or orders are bought at discounts and are transported to other places by hired freight service. In one instance, Ruby Pottery delivered three freight loads of jars to an international shipping line to satisfy the order of a foreigner businessman who would take these to Belgium. While exportation is not yet regular, demand continues to expand to other foreign countries (e.g. Great Britain).

Local and foreign tourists also buy jars directly from any of these factories. Since Pagburnayan is a must-see section in Vigan tours, jars, especially the miniatures, are easily sold. The miniatures have a potential for expansion as they are bought and resold with some value added, as in converting these into painted decorative items.

Source: “Lifted from the Vigan Ethnographic Studies by VMP Socio-Cultural Team”