It’s everyday pinakbet in Ilocos! You could say the Ilocanos are long-established organic farmers.
If you need to stay in Vigan but won’t consider confining yourself in a room in a centuries-old casa, you just might mull over an alternative accommodation. Casa Teofila Lodge looks more like a huge house, located not too far from the heritage village, about 5 minutes away if you’re taking the tricycle. But we’ll get back to that later.
I met Mary Fe or Mafe Chan Po, the owner of Casa Teofila Lodge at a Red Dot function a couple of months ago and it so happens that my bestie Marianne was a high school classmate of Benjie Po, the husband of Mafe. It was a slow Sunday, so my hubby went with us to the south. It turns out the Chans and Reny’s family are close from way back, especially their moms.
After meeting with the couple at the Red Dot-Vigan, which Mafe also manages, we drove to the hotel for lunch at the Resto Grill, the hotel’s restaurant which is transformed into a bar at night, complete with live acoustic music on Wednesdays and Fridays, and KTV singing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Seize the super 5-beer-plus-1 deal for only 200 pesos. Saw the menu and the prices of food are unbelievably low, certainly tourist-friendly! They fed us the house specialties such as sisig, Pinoy BBQ and what they call their Bilao ni Mang Azon; consisting of grilled okra, finger chili, eggplant, squid, liempo, tilapia; fresh pokpoklo, tomatoes and onions; chopped mangoes with bagoong alamang; and red eggs. Loved the hot sinigang na baboy which I ate with patis, yum!
Lovely pinakbet, an Ilocano meal-in-one favorite. I noticed Ilocos Sur’s pinakbet is not so pinakebbet or shriveled, unlike ours in the north. The last I had in Candon looks fairly the same. I prefer the veggies a little hilaw. On the contrary, that won’t be the authentic Ilocano pakbet.
Let’s now talk about lodging. Saw almost all the rooms. Nothing too fancy. There are many to choose from, depending on the budget. They have dormitory rooms which can accommodate up to 10-20 people. They also have air-conditioned ordinary rooms that are low cost. However, they also have newer suites for those who can afford to spend more. The hotel is constantly being renovated a little at a time, says Mafe. Cable TV and WiFi are available.
Frankly, I haven’t experienced spending a night in Vigan, so I’m admittedly not an authority on hotels and inns, etc.. About the food culture in the south… I’m getting there:)
Casa Teofila Lodge & Resto Grille Pantay Daya, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Tel. No.: (077) 722 6482 / CP Nos: (0920) 690 5999 / (0922) 851 3513 / (0935) 190 3688 / (0917) 799 0513
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