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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
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    Ilocos Sur: Vigan's Hidden Garden Restaurant is a Secret No More!

    Tutubi seldom visits a place more than once unless he has to just to use the time to search for something new. He visited Vigan twice, just to check in at two hotels on two different occasions. The first at Green R Hotel and the second at Cordillera Inn on Calle Crisologo.

    During his second visit, he got interested in a "secret" garden restaurant outside the city proper, called Hidden Garden in barangay Bulala. Right after checking in at Cordillera Inn, he thought of a light meal of Vigan Empanada not at the Empanadahan which is just a short walk away, but at the Hidden Garden restaurants.

    Photos of Hidden Garden Restaurant in Vigan, Ilocos Sur (taken using Tutubi's borrowed iPhone 4 at around 5:30pm so it's getting dark already)

    the native grotto inside Hidden Garden, what greets you after the front office going to the restaurant

    garden with topiaries, plants and flowers and gardening implements, for sale, byt the way

    The dining area with overhanging millionaires vine, near the Lover's Corner

    After the Empanada Corner is a pathway to the Secret Garden, Tutubi was greeted by a swarm of mosquitoes here, all but natural for gardens, so be prepared with your mosquito repellants

    Hidden Garden's native halo-halo (that Tutubi finds not so good yet not bad at all, gelatin, sweetened banana, sago, cheese, pinipig (rice crispies), wafer stick, ice cream and coconut milk)

    So how did Tutubi rate/review Hidden Garden?

    Location: far but within reach of the crowd, probably crowded on weekends

    Ambiance: relaxing and natural with the garden setting. there's a romantic place with overhanging millionaires' vine near the Lover's corner...for couples :P

    Downside: swarm of mosquitoes greeted Tutubi when he tried to enter the garden with trees, only natural for a place, but Tutubi wasn't prepared so he stepped back. Besides, it's already getting dark so taking pictures is almost no use.

    Price: empanada, the same at Vigan Empanadahan. others, quite reasonable considering it's location and romantic ambiance.

    Customer Service: service was ok with no other people around. Tutubi tried to inquire about hoe to get there by sending a text message to their published contact number (on their official website with several telephone numbers). All he got was a "hu u?" reply and no real asnwer to his question. Hidden garden resutaurant owner should train his/her staff on how to courteously reply to inquiries and provide the requested answer.

    others: there are plants and garden items on display and for sale. there's also a souvenir shop and a celebrity corner where pictures of famous visitors to the place are on display.

    Overall: it deserves a second look, particularly since Tutubi went there for a only short time and ordered just two items on the menu. Tutubi would love to try out Ilocos Specialties and delicacies next time.

    Hidden Garden Menu prices featuring Vigan Specialties:

    vigan ilocos sur specialties

    Vigan Bagnet: PhP150.00
    Vigan Longganiza: P150.00 (6 pcs)
    Sinanglao: PhP130.00
    Warek-warek: PhP130.00
    Poqui-poqui (or poki-poki): PhP90.00
    Dinengdeng PhP130.00
    Igado PhP120.00
    Pakbet with Bagnet: PhP100.00

    Steam rice: P15.00
    Garlic rice: PhP25.00
    Filipino breakfast: PhP90.00 (longsilog, bangsilog, tapsilog)
    Vigan Empanada: PhP45.00
    Native Halo-halo: PhP75.00
    Fresh fruit shakes at PhP80.00 - PhP100.00


    How to get to Hidden Garden:

    just ride a tricycle (or calesa if you're a usual tourist) to take you to the secret garden in barangay Bulala, at a corner of the road going to Mindoro Airport (the domestic airport in Vigan) and the service road going to Baluarte zoo of Gov. Chavit Singson in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. If you have a car, drive by Rizal Avenue, turn right when you see the cemetery that looks like a park, left at the end then ask around :P
    (if you have a GPS, coordinates are: N17 33 36.3 E120 21 53.7 (Try OpenStreetMap, it's there on the map added by Tutubi))

    Vigan Empanada (an alternative to Vigan Empanadahan at Vigan City center)
    Vigan Sinanglao (an alternative to the authentic ambiance of sinanglao breakfast at Vigan Plaza Salcedo.

    All photos taken with iPhone 4 (Tutubi loves the new iPhone 4 camera, muchh improved from the old iPhone 3G/3GS).

    Labels: , , , ,

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:08 PM,


    At Mar 17, 2011, 5:53:00 PM, Blogger yhun said...

    the 'hu u' text is funny. :D i did receive that kind of text once. from then on, i always go for landline or call them in their mobile phones. hehe

    i never got to like the vigan empanada. :( it's too oily for my taste. maybe, i'm just used with the empanada here in cebu.

    At Mar 18, 2011, 1:03:00 AM, Anonymous Traveler on Foot said...

    What's poqui-poqui? :-)

    At Mar 18, 2011, 5:07:00 AM, Anonymous bw said...

    really nice... fresh atmosphere, clean air and great native food... and more importantly, great prices ;)

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    At Nov 2, 2011, 3:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


    At Nov 2, 2011, 3:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    .........this place is really amazing and it so very beautiful.....


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