Hotel Luna: A luxury heritage museum hotel in Vigan

Vigan

If you think you’ve never heard of a Hotel Luna in Vigan before, it is because it officially opened just a few weeks ago. From the outside, you would mistake the newly painted old-and-simple-but-massive-structure for a villa or just another heritage hotel which is regulatory in the city that cares so much about heritage preservation.

A breath of fresh air greets you at the entrance. By Vigan standards, it feels queer in a beautiful way, I mean heritage with a twist — little modernities here and there and yet within the bounds of the city’s mantra.

Built in 1882, the property was a former residence, a gift of Ilocos Sur’s affluent Don Jose Florentino to his daughter.

Vigan CalesaVigan heritage CityFrom the roof deck, a fresh perspective of Vigan’s mansions and the St. Paul Cathedral.

Building Reflection

Hotel Luna, named after the celebrated Ilocano painter Juan Luna, is the only luxury hotel in Vigan and the only museum hotel in Northern Luzon. A marriage of both worlds, it is not just a museum of antiquities, but a gallery of contemporary art as well. Artworks by national artists and remarkable painters speak so much about the art leanings of the owners, the same family that own Rembrandt Hotel in Manila and Le Monet in Baguio. You’d find an Amorsolo, Juan Lunas, a painting by Cory Quirino and so much more. Something we were forbidden to see is a roomful of precious art pieces — very private, according to our very engaging tour guide Melvin Martinez.

Rooms are posh. Soft upholstered headboards punctuate loft suites and the deluxe, superior and standard rooms, while a four poster and a porcelain bathtub make the low-key executive suite. A paradigm shift is de riguer in the bar and the outside spaces.

The warmth of the place is inviting. I live next door so to speak, but I’d love to experience an overnight stay in Vigan and it would be my first if ever.

Hotel LunaChula Bar, Hotel LunaThe hotel manager, Robert Ferrer, at the Chula Bar. Btw, he was so accommodating.

Chula BarHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaHotel LunaThe  eye-catching  3D historical mural was done by world-famous artist Rene Robles. Along with the country’s art gliterati, he was at the hotel’s inauguration early this month.

Hotel LunaLuna Hotel, ViganHotel LunaHotel LunaMelvinHotel LunaLuna Hotel museumLa Mandolinera by Juan LunaLa Mandolinera (The Violin Player) by Juan Luna.

*With special thanks to Mr. Robert Ferrer, Melvin Martinez and the rest of the wonderful staff.

Hotel Luna V. de los Reyes cor. Gem Luna Sts, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines 2700 Tel No.: 632 373 3333 loc 201 email: sales.artstream@gmail.com http://www.hotelluna.ph

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Museo de Bacarra: New Ilocos Norte Heritage Museum

Museo Bacarra

Happy to be back in the blog and to share photos of the latest museum in Ilocos. To be formally launched on the 24th of October is the Museo de Bacarra, created by the Local Government Unit of Bacarra through the financial assistance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. It is located at the St. Andrew Parish Church Compound, a stone’s throw from the Bacarra Leaning Bell Tower.

Bacarra, Vatican Town of the Philippines

It was Joy, our Bacarreño friend, who ushered Marianne, Joan and me to the museum. A wonderful discovery: “The Balikbayan Town” of Bacarra  is also heralded as The Vatican Town of the Philippines after having produced the most number of priests in the country following the introduction of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines.

Amidst all the antiquities from the past, the tour was pleasant, with soothing, happy Ilocano piano music in the background. We have to thank Vicky Bonoan and Armando Pasion, who acted as our educational tour guides. According to Armand, it took the initiators only two months to put together the entire collection.

Vintage SuitsKarison

Hahah, a karison!

PageddaanPangananDalikanDulang

We call that dulang.

SalasFilipiniana1800s Book of Baptism

Well-preserved 19th century documents.

Century-Old Bilog (Boat)

It’s a century-old bilog (boat).

Museo Bacarra

There’s Vicky Bonaoan with us — shot by  Armando Pasion.

TunnelPhoto of La Residencia (Peralta ancestral home)

La Residencia is the ancestral home of the Peraltas, used as location for the Richard  Gomez-Dawn Zulueta-starrer Hihintayin Kita sa Langit. The house is not far from the museum.

Peralta ancestral homeSt. Andrew (Bacarra) Church CompoundBacarra Leaning Bell Tower

The leaning Bacarra Bell Tower, built during the Spanish Colonization Period.

Skater

We had a brief stopover at Ella’s for Ilocos empanadas before heading back home to Laoag. Empanadas are sort of Ilocos’ banner food product.

Ella's Crispy Empanada, BacarraEmpanada makerEmpanada PreparationBacarra EmpanadaIlocos EmpanadasPhotographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012