Villa Angela was built in 1873 by the spouses Don Agapito Florendo y Bonifacio, who was a gobernadorcillo of La Ciudad Fernandina (Vigan) in 1859, and Doña Maria Villanueva. Four generations later, the present day owners restored, preserved and used this heritage house primarily as a repository of their family relics and memorabilia. It is only in recent times that the Versoza family opened the place for visitors who want to experience staying in a century old house that also has basic modern-day hotel amenities.
The interiors have the look of a typical Spanish-period house – wooden floor planks, spacious corridors, high ceilings, hardwood furniture, and windows adorned with Capiz shells. Its smell reminded me of my mom’s smaller ancestral home in Misamis Occidental. But compared to Villa Angela, it is unfortunately losing the battle against time and the elements.
We stayed at Cuarto de las Hijas, an air-conditioned room huge enough to accommodate more than four travellers from Cebu. It has three four-poster beds with draperies that the ladies in the group probably adored. The towels, bedsheets, pillow covers and blankets were all made of inabel, a popular handwoven textile from the Ilocos region. There is hot and cold shower in the bathroom that does not have a ceiling. I think that was quite strange but it somehow added an adventurous charm to our accommodation.
Kuya Tony, one of the caretakers of Villa Angela, told us that Piolo Pascual rested in our room when he did a photo shot for an album a few years ago. Other celebrities in the growing list are pre-Katie-Holmes Tom Cruise for Born on the Fourth of July and pre-Bebe-Gandanghari Rustom Padilla for Maruja.
I actually asked him a lot of weird questions that day such as the difference between the Laoag and Vigan longganisa, if the funeral parlor along Calle Crisologo is for real, other places to go in the city and the reason why his family stayed in Villa Angela for almost 20 years now. He gamely answered all of these with wit and as someone who really knows Vigan like the back of his hand.
But I would not place his replies in this blog entry though. The only thing I could disclose is that he also taught me how to express gratitude in the most polite Ilocano possible: Diyos ti angnina. For everything else, you have to go to Villa Angela to find them out.
With breakfast included, I would say that we really paid a reasonable amount for our stay at Villa Angela. But I think that the biggest bonus was the fact that it is just located 2 blocks away from Calle Crisologo. This detail is especially attractive for those who want to have a rustic and restful stay in Vigan without being too far from the commercial district of the city.
Villa Angela Heritage House
#26 Quirino Boulevard, VIgan City
Telefax: +63 77 722 2914