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Following our Class Sembreak Retreat in Baguio in October 2010, I decided to join my “katropa” classmates Frederick Carlo F. Narvasa and Mark Kenneth P. Ascano in their excursion trips to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and Bangued, Abra, where Kench lives. From October 15 to 18 we stayed at Kench’s house in Zone 3 in Bangued. During our stay in Bangued, the three of us visited St. Joseph Cathedral of the Diocese of Bangued, St. Joseph Seminary (high school seminary in Pidigan, Abra), the meters-long famous bridge leading to La Paz, and the monument of National Heroine Gabriela Silang near the boundary of Ilocos Sur-Abra provinces.

On October 16, we three, accompanied by Kench’s mom Tita Christine and his brother Ralph, visited Vigan City, considered as the heritage site and cultural center of Ilocos Region. Vigan is the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. It is known for its Spanish-fashioned streets and houses long preserved up to this very date. We toured the historic Conversion of St. Paul Church, known as Vigan Metropolitan Cathedral. We had sumptous lunch at Max Restaurant there, and of course we toured the Baluarte Zoo, the famous and largest animal conservational and recreational park in the north. We saw numerous varieties of animals that other cannot usually see at Manila or Malabon Zoo. I had the rare chance to hold an “iguana” and even a “tiger” (whose owner is Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson).

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