-Ride a calesa, horse-drawn carriages, while eating empanadas
|Chowin down on some delicious local empanadas during the motor cade parade throughout the city!|
-Always wave back. The pure joy and squeals that would come from the locals when you would make eye contact, smile and wave back at them; judging by their reactions you would think they had just fine dined with a celebrity. And that's just what we were this weekend in their eyes; celebrities
|Governor Singson making his town a musical one, irony?|
-Walk the historical Crisologo Street with Spanish influence, unique to everywhere else in the Philippines. It reminded me of a mini version of being in the European streets with it's cobblestone pathways and architecture.
-Get outside the city center, about a 30 minute drive, and dive in to the warm, bath water, clear blue sea that is dawned "the Boracay of the North" at the Cabugao Beach Resort (to be determined). If you go during the day you will have a private beach because Filipinos like to keep thier skin white, unlike us Americans who disregard that risk of 'skin disease' and desire the dark brown color. Two days at the beach, and proud to say I am well on my way!
|#thatfilipinowater #thatfilipinosand 1st Philippine beach in the books!|
|The imports who didn't have matches this weekend; getting our jumping fix in!|
-Eat like a true Filipino on a farm just outside the city. Meals are served on real banana leaves and you get to use your hands as forks! The messier, the better!
|Awesome set up, eating fish caught right next to us probably that same morning!|
|Finger lickin good! Who needs utensils??|
-Make sure you have plenty of ice packs to put on your head if you're playing in a volleyball match. If you're a spectator, fans to keep yourself cool. Or maybe even get creative; go straight over to the cooler full of ice and water and throw your arms in it and dowse your face; a tactic used by some of the players as the matches this past weekend got to the end and the heat verged on unbearable in the non air conditioned gym. But I would do that too if my name was Kristy Jaeckel, I had 85 swings in a 4 set match and 33 of them were kills. You go girl, dive head first into that cooler of ice!
|It was a PACKED house..hot hot HOT!|
-PLAY VOLLEYBALL! The town obviously has an overwhelming interest in the sport. At both of the PSL matches on Saturday night, there were 3,000 fans packed in the gym and an estimated 1,000 more outside the gym watching the match from a screen set up.
At the youth clinic put on the previous day by the coaches and players of the PSL, there was a great turn out of girls and boys eager to learn more about the sport and meet their newfound idols from around the world. When in doubt, ito ang volleyball! Or as they say in Vigan; datoy di volleyball!
|Adorable campers, they could hardly contain their excitement!|
|People helping people #growthegame|
Vigan may not be a town of very much; the locals live a very simple life with not a lot; they have one McDonalds in their town square, the historical city center street is a miniature version of what you would come across in Europe and their gyms may not have air conditioning or showers. But what Vigan does have plenty of are very big hearts, beautiful history that they live in and preserve daily from the 16th century. And a lot of pride. It was a great experience to see the Seventh Wonder City of the world before it actually becomes it!
Thank you for opening your city, sharing your culture and food, and most importantly the heart of your people to us this weekend! We sure hope there are more opportunities for more people from around the world to experience 'staying cool' in your city and especially more volleyball fans in the future!
|Coast drive on the way back to Manila|
|Bus window sunset capture #suckerforthesunset #always|