What to buy: The most common any place souvenir which you can give to friends is a shirt. There are a lot of shops along Crisologo street that sell shirts. But make sure you canvass for prices first before buying from the first store you visit. The computer printed shirts (the nicest) cost P200, while the more common ones cost P100 to P150. The Blue Corner brand of shirts has good quality, and lots of designs to choose from. There are also some white shirts which you can buy at P160 for two pieces. I think the shirts are priced ok along crisologo. DO NOT BU Y the shirts in the stalls inside the Jar Factories. They sell it at higher prices.
The place is actually a jar factory. But there are stalls at the entrance selling all kinds of souvenirs, exactly the same as those sold along crisologo street. but here, the bags are definitely cheaper. I was able to buy 3 bags, those that cost P350 in crisologo were sold to me at P200. These are the handmade banig bags that has different colors and are varnished. I also bought an evening bag at P100 and I saw it along crisologo, sold at P170. So when you come to Pagburnayan to see how the jars are made, check out the bags too.
What to buy: The clay ashtrays however are very expensive in the Jar Factories. I was looking for an ashtray encarved with the vigan name for my tito ted, and they offered it to me at P150. I didnt buy it of course. I bought from one of the stores in crisologo at P15. Imagine the price difference!
I wrote rave reviews of Mercedes Parel's antique shop in Vigan April 2007, as soon as I got back from vacation with my husband and our 3 kids. I said the owner, Manang Merced, seemed sincere and honest. NOT! I was terribly, horribly disappointed when the antique furnishings I ordered from her were finally delivered this month. We agreed on her waxing the platerias, the pillow rack, butakas, diividers I ordered from her with antique finish. Instead, they smelled of rot, were thick with dirt, grime, cobwebs and dust. And worst of all, included in her delivery were what seemed like the whole roach population of Vigan. When I called her, did she say "I'm sorry." Na-ah. She said, "I had them waxed. They are so clean, doctora." Ang hard ng face diba? Steer clear of this ukinam. Go instead to the pricier but more pro antique dealers like Lucy Barba and Linda Lopez. I ordered from them too and business was a breeze.
What to buy: The computer tables made of old wood from Lucy's. Only 5k. Beautiful! With delivery. Butakas, dividers, console tables---furniture in Vigan is beautiful and wonderfully priced.
Along Heritage street, they sell inabel, ini-sa (cotton used as mosquitera),and cotton blankets,pillow cases etc.
What to buy: Inisa' is number one in my list since I'm planning to use these for my curtains and as drapes for my bed . I also bought a lot of white cotton blankets .
This is a tuckaway shop at the corner of Calle Crisologo and some street I can't recall now. It is infront of the one and only airconditioned mini grocery along Calle Crisologo right next to Max's. Manang Merced's shop sells antiques that are reasonably priced. For instance, while most antique frames with concave glasses were going at an average of php3500, I got mine from Manang's store for php 1800. While I'm no antique expert, the truth is I loved this frame and she struck me as honest and sincere---which, I gather, is as good as it gets when you're no antique expert. How I felt about the stuff I got from her store (loved them!)and the manner in which she guided me through the whole process was a good enough gauge for me. She would point out the reproductions and the genuine antiques. Other examples--her antique double 4 poster beds were going for php18000. Other shops--php25000. She sold her pillow rack for php2500. Other shops--php 4000 to as high as 8k!
What to buy: Furniture! Antique butakas for php 3500. In Manila, you'd be lucky to get one for php6k. Vigan prices I am quoting are inclusive of freight.Capiz windows made into dividers sell for around 2.5k to 3k for 2 panels and 3.5 to 7.5k for 3 panels. Antique jewelry like tambourine necklaces (got mine for php1300--in Manila they'd be at least 5k), tambourine earrings (1k--in Manila at least 3K in a tiangge). Abel napkins are php100 for a dozen!
Ruby Pottery is a factory that manufactures jars, vases and pots. It is situated out of the Vigan proper ie the Crisologo area. It is better if you take a tricycle or a kalesa there. Entrance is free. You can go in to look at the process how pottery is being done. Within the compound there are some souvenier shops for you to pick up some nice bracelets, key chains, small purses and little pottery stuff.
What to buy: Jars, vases and pots ....
If above too big for you to carry back .... buy some small souveniers within the compound.
What to pay: depending on sizes.
Lots of little stalls along the Crisologo Street. Go in and explore. Find the one that has the most stuff you fancy. You can get bulk discounts for the goods you buy. The vendors are cheerful and polite - if they can sell you at the price you ask, they will agreed readily. If not, don't press too hard... the table runners are really a good buy at the price which they asked for..
What to buy: Good stuff to buy :
1) of course the table runners
2) sling bags - also from woven materials
3) fridge magnets - yes, with the word "Vigan" on it
4) lots of handbags..
What to pay: Table runners : long ones at 150pesos, short ones 100pesos (basis bulk discounts)
Sling bags : range of 120 to 150 pesos
Fridge magnets, depending on size : 80pesos to 150pesos
Handbags - depends on size, material and pattern. A cheap one is about 150pesos.
sometimes i don't need to buy. enjoy the layout and buildings of the souvenir shops were nice :)
What to buy: anykind of ilocano handycrafts can be found here. from examples blanket and jar so called 'burnay'. another also available tee-shirt and postcard and whiskey glass entitled "vigan".
What to pay: around php20 - 200
On the street-level ground of the old buildings of both sides of the half a kilometer long Calle Crisologo are souvenir shops.
What to buy: Check these local products >> Ilocano wine Basi, antique woodcrafts (original or reproductions), Burnay or local earthen jars, Abel-Iloko blankets, musical harps, hand-rolled cigars, and many more. "Pasalubong!" But of course, don't forget the souvenir t-shirt heralding your tour to this place.
What to pay: Compare prices of items sold at the about more than a dozen shops. Most probably the next door shop has the same item. Competition means you can haggle for the lowest price.
Vigan is synanymous to antiques. Several shops can be found at the ground level of the centuries old houses along Heritage Village. These shops and their wares add to the "antiquated" ambience of the village.
What to buy: The shops are teeming with furnitures, religious images, and other wood-based crafts. Some may not be "old and antique", but still made from hard wood like Narra and Mahogany.
What to pay: Price depends on what you intend to purchase, whether the "original antique" or reproduction.
For instance, a small, round coffee table made from mahogany costs P850, possibly lower if I was serious in haggling.
One stop shop for postcards...
What to buy: Special postcards of Vigan
What to pay: For ordinary ones, PhP3 each card. For special postcards, ranges between PhP15-30 each card.
Numerous little shops line the cobble stone steets of Vigan. Most of them sell furniture, local crafts, art, and jewelry.