A Peek at the Lives of the Crisologos

Credits:  Template by Jen Caputo;  Papers by Jessica Sprague Thank You Kindly kit

The Crisologos – one of the most prominent political families of Vigan, a principal political dynasty, so to speak.  The most popular street of Vigan was in fact named after them.  Their lives were filled with political drama and violence.

Floro Crisologo was a veteran and a long time congressman.  On Oct 18, 1970, while standing in line for communion, a lone gunman entered the church and shot him.  The assassin escaped during the chaos that ensued and the murder case remains unresolved to this day.  As rumors have it, it was politically motivated.

His wife Carmeling, once a Governor of Vigan, survived him.  She also had her fair share of political violence when she was ambushed in her car in 1961.  She lived to tell the tale.

Their son Bingbong on the other hand, served time in the Bilibid prison for burning down two villages in Ilocos Sur in 1970.  It was rumored that it was done in retaliation for the residents voted for his mother’s opponent.  Today, he is a congressman for a district in Quezon City.

Housing the memorabilia and antique collections of this family is their ancestral home now turned museum, the Crisologo Museum. Truth be told, when compared to the well-kept Syquia Mansion, this was a let down and anti-climactic.

Did you ever own one of this?

Or this?

I hope not this.   🙂

A Tourism apprentice who knows very little about the family and its (very colorful) history took us around and when bombarded with questions, the poor girl couldn’t answer most of it.

The house however, albeit not as well kept as the one of the Syquia’s, was interesting enough showcasing a lot of paintings and photos of the family.


Syquia Mansion

Credits:  Papers by Jessica Sprague Home Away From Home Paper kit.

This colonial mansion built in 1830 at the corner of Quirino Blvd. and Salcedo St. is the ancestral home of Doña Alicia Syquia, wife of Philippine’s 6th president, the late Elpidio Quirino.

It is today a museum that offers free entrance to visitors.  In the house are 19th century furnishings, memorabilia and various photos, providing a glimpse to the man.

Doña Alicia did not live to become first lady however, because she was a casualty of World War II — she along with 3 of her children were killed by the Japanese.  Elpidio did not re-marry and his daughter, Doña Victoria served as First Lady.

The mansion had become the official residence of President Quirino thus claimed as the first Malacañang of the north.

A portrait of Doña Victoria graces the wall of the Receiving Room

A single wooden stairs leads to the receiving room on the 2nd floor where a replica of the Spolarium hangs.  Rumor has it that Juan Luna’s assistant painted the replica and this was what they referred to when the real Spolarium was restored.

The rooms are spacious with various doors linking one room from the other.  One can enter one door and exit another door leading to another room.

Capiz windows up close

The mansion was well kept and retains a lot of the 19th century details.

Glass window detail

I am a fan of Machuca tiles — flooring used in the Azotea

Looking out to the Azotea froma room (nice grill detail too).

The guide was very knowledgeable and equipped with many information.  Definitely a must see when in Vigan.

This is my entry to My World this week.  Click on the icon below for a glimpse of more worlds from around the globe.

Timeless Vigan

Ilocos Sur is where many culture and histories meet, all sharing space in this timeless city called Vigan – shrines, landmarks, museums, churches, ancestral homes, a cobbled-stoned street.  Inscribed in 1999 in the UNESCO World Heritage list, citing that, “Vigan represents a unique fusion of Asian buildings and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.”

Established in the 16th century, Vigan is still the most intact example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia today.  It is best known for its cobbled-stone street, Calle Crisologo, lined with many old buildings that are intact, restored or in (dis)repair.

One can see remnants of the old-Spanish architecture throughout the center of the city.

Although the street is now busy with souvenir and curio shops, it still transports one back to the Vigan at its peak.  It is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country, not many of the historical buildings are left after WWII.

The old Vigan colonial houses, built mostly by rich Chinese traders, are made of thick brick walls and red clay.

They conduct their business on the ground floor and reside above.  It is a characteristic of Chinese culture and other Asian countries as well.  The resulting townscape is a unique display of a harmonious blend of Ilocano, Chinese and European elements, a unique display of the multi-culture nature of the Filipino society.

Captivated by colonial towns and its culture, this road trip all started with Vigan in mind.

From their longganisa and bagnets to their ancestral homes, we savored it all.

the street at night

We spent the 2 days walking up and down Calle Crisologo soaking in the heritage,

wondering how life was back in those elegant days of yore.  An interesting city albeit far from the capital with about 400 kilometers (that’s about 8 hours) of travel needed if you are coming from Manila.  Vigan is charming and I urge every Filipino to make a visit at least once in their life.   🙂

Not your typical McDonald’s facade

Al fresco dining in the evenings is a wonderful thing

Scenic Sunday