Vigan is the capital of Ilocos Sur and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a well-preserved city with Hispanic colonial heritage houses in the northern part of the Philippines. Vigan is 400 kilometers from Metro Manila, so if you’re too lazy to drive that far, maybe you can visit the little Vigan of Gapan, Nueva Ecija as an alternative destination.
Where is Little Vigan located?
Little Vigan, also known as ‘Ang lumang Gapan” is situated in the city of Gapan, Nueva Ecija. It’s just a 2-3 hours of drive from Metro Manila. Nueva Ecija is the next province after Bulacan and is sitting between Tarlac and Aurora province in the central part of Luzon.
How to go to Little Vigan?
PRIVATE CAR: Drive to NLEX and exit at Balagtas Exit. Use Plaridel By-pass Road all the way to San Miguel, Bulacan. After seeing the Welcome to San Miguel arc, keep driving to the left and follow the signs that lead to Nueva Ecija. Turn right to Tinio St once you see SM Savemore. Turn left to Jacinto street when you reach Jollibee.
*You may also avoid using Express Way by driving through Mc Arthur Highway (For motorcycles and scooters).
COMMUTE: Take a bus to San Jose, and drop off at Gapan Savemore. Take a tricycle to Little Vigan.
What to do in Little Vigan?
The Little Vigan is just a new attraction in the city of Gapan. There’s not so much to do yet at this time except take some pictures. There are food stalls there however it seems like it wasn’t really planned carefully. There are at least 6 food stalls that sell the same products (Milk Tea) and there is no authentic local food.
Is it worth driving two hours?
I love the place, but my wife totally disagrees. So I’d say, it may not be worth driving if it’s the only place you will be visiting in the area. I think it’s still being developed and it’s far from the real Vigan. And it may not be comparable to Intramuros yet. It would be great if one of the heritage houses gets converted to a hotel, just like Las Casas Filipinas, or perhaps a restaurant that can offer authentic food instead of instant ramen.
The Little Vigan of Gapan still has a long way to go, but so far the development is really great for the city. For now, it’s only a good side-trip after visiting Minalungao National Park, or Mount Manalmon.
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