The very pretty old town of Vigan is reminiscent of Spanish colonial towns in Latin America, but at the same time has an unmistakable Chinese touch. A local Philippine peculiarity are the sliding windows, whose panes are capiz shells set in a wooden grid. The city is very well preserved, which is really special for the Philippines: many cities were reduced to rubble during World War 2, plus regular earthquakes and typhoons. It is all the more astonishing how pleasantly non-touristy Vigan still is. The main street, reserved for pedestrians and carriages, is lined with souvenir shops, but even these are relatively discreet. In the other streets, however, tool shops and car repair shops can be found in the old villas. Just outside, there are potteries with huge 19th-century kilns where clay jugs are mass-produced.
In the afternoon, I make an excursion to Paoay Church, easily reached by bus in 2 hours. The most famous baroque church in Northern Luzon has a façade that reminds me of a cream cake melting in the sun. By the way, the interior is not particularly interesting and the current roof is simply made of corrugated iron.