Where To Go In Vigan: Baluarte

Our first stop after a very filling breakfast at Vigan Plaza Hotel was Chavit Singson’s Baluarte. Chavit has long been known to have extraordinary “pets”. Aside from being into politics and his former affiliation with Ex-Pres. Erap Estrada, he also became famous because of his pet tigers.

Baluarte Zoo does not have entrance fees, but donations are very much welcomed. After signing our names in the registration area, we immediately saw a lot of colorful birds which seem to welcome the zoo’s guests.

We were encouraged by the zookeepers to have close encounters with the birds. One by one, Joie, Jeff and Boyet smiled for the camera with the bird on their right shoulder.

DSC_1012 Boyet

DSC_1016  Jeff

I’m not really fond of animals. (Dear PETA, please don't sue me!) I love going to zoos to “see” them, but not to get close to them. But since everybody did it, I didn’t want to be a killjoy so I took up the challenge. Ang OA ko, it’s just a bird!

DSC_1021 Je: O, umayos ka! (Parang si @TheMayorLIM lang ang peg ko!)

Let’s just say that it was a love-hate relationship. The moment the zookeeper put the bird on my shoulder, I almost fainted! The bird is very HEAVY! I then started talking “bird language” and told the bird to behave, thus the explanation for the above photo.

DSC_1022 Je: Bye, Birdie!

After the close encounter with the birds, a bigger bird greeted us!


Most animals freely roam around the zoo. And yes, that includes the dinosaurs! Mwahahaha!

DSC_1029 With Hubby

DSC_1033 Jeff and Joie

When we saw this animal, my husband started to sing, “AKO SI BLINK! SA BAWAS ORAS NARIYAN!” If you’re a 90’s kid, then I bet you can relate to us. But I’m not even sure if my husband connected BLINK to the correct animal. :p


DSC_1038 Another proof that animals can freely roam around

When I said that most animals freely roam around, tigers were excluded. :p

When we went to the reptiles area of the zoo, another zookeeper who was carrying a big snake told me that I could take a picture with it. I just smiled. Sa isip isip ko, KUYA IBON NGA, NAG FREAK OUT AKO! AHAS PA KAYA?!

Funny anecdote when we entered the reptiles area:

Jeff: Wow! May TURL!
Je: HUH????!!! *thinking what on Earth is a TURL*

I saw a camel from afar, but we didn’t dare to come near as our skin was getting toasted by the scorching heat of the sun. We should have followed Kuya Lenzer’s advice to be ready by 7 AM.

I’ve been to different provinces in the Philippines, and every place has a zoo to boast for. Baluarte is definitely a must-see place in Ilocos. On our way out, a zookeeper invited the guests for a “meet and greet” with some of the animals at 12:00 PM. Unfortunately, we were in a hurry so we weren’t able to experience it.

If you're planning on an Ilocos trip, bring your kids with you as I’m sure they’ll enjoy Baluarte. :)


  1. natawa ako sa TURL!!! ahahaha,, ang sosyal kasi magsalita e.. hahahaha

  2. I also didn't have a photo with the parrot on my shoulder when we went there, si Mark kasi tinuka kaya natakot na ako hahaha! :p

    Revisiting Ciudad Fernandina: Baluarte


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