The Hidden Garden: An Ilocano Food Restaurant cum Garden in Vigan City

Vigan is home to a lot of wondrous places and activities. A day would be easily filled with going to historical houses, churches, museums, etc. With all the activities that you can do, make sure to get a good meal at the end of the day. This could be answered by a lot of food stalls and restaurants in the city. However, one of the food establishments offers authentic Ilocano foods IN A garden.

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is based on personal experience as well as references to the date of publication. Changes may occur on contact details, transportation, fees, etc. With this, please do comment at the end of the article any updates as well as corrections on the content, anything amiss, or any information that you think is crucial to the readers. Thank you!


Location

Address: #56 Bulala Centro, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Coordinates: 17.5595° N, 120.3645° E

Map:

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Business Hours

Usual business hours starts as early as 06:00AM and closes at 05:30PM. Better yet, don’t go too early or too late. Peak hours at around 11:00AM to 04:00PM.

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Contact Details

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The Hidden Garden

Vigan is home to a lot of wondrous places and activities. A day would be easily filled with going to historical houses, churches, museums, etc. With all the activities that you can do, make sure to get a good meal at the end of the day. This could be answered by a lot of food stalls and restaurants in the city. However, one of the food establishments offers authentic Ilocano foods IN A garden.


The Restaurant…

The popularity of this native food establishment cum garden is a big contrast to its name–it is not hidden, rather, it is widely-known. Probably it is hidden because you cannot believe that the modest entrance hides a great place. The place is also adorned with some local house ornaments and implements.

A rattan hammock is used as part of the myriad of native adornment in the Lilong and Lilang Restaurant. A water buffalo skull with intact horn is also seen in the above image.
Just after the entrance, you will be greeted with banderitas and some local fishing (?) implements.

The restaurant is officially known as Hidden Garden Lilong and Lilang Restaurant. It offers native Ilocano dishes such as bagnet, longganisa, sinanglaw, poqui-poqui, dinengdeng, pinakbet, etc. The following images are pages from their menu.


The Hidden Garden…

The ‘hidden’ garden has an interesting history. Six years ago, Francis Flores, the owner of Hidden Garden of Vigan suffered from three heart attacks and had half of his body paralyzed [1]. Also, this made him realize to change his life, start a garden, and became a landscape architect. It later became a business and an restaurant even popped inside it.

There are direction signs along the pathways in the Hidden Garden; you’ll not get lost.

Before [or after] partaking a sumptuous Ilocano meal, you can have a walk on the maze of its garden. It offers some good displays of plants. These plants are also for sale, such as herbs, bonsais, flowers, ornamental plants, etc. The walk would be a treat to plant lovers. They might even grab some plants home.

Hanging plant display. These are for sale.
This is the bonsai garden, one of the sections of the entire garden.

Thus, if you want to try some native delicacies and you are also a plant lover, this could be the best venue for you to eat.

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How to Get There

By land. Take any bus heading to Vigan City or Laoag City.

  • Manila buses bound to Vigan City are Partas, Dominion Bus, Aniceto Bus, Viron Transit, Florida Bus Line, Fariñas Trans, Maria De Leon Bus Lines, RCJ Bus Lines and F. Franco Transit. Anywhere from Vigan City, hail a tricycle or kalesa [two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage] and tell the driver to drop you at the Hidden Garden.
  • From Baguio City, you can take a Partas bus near SM City Baguio or the ordinary mini-buses in Bayanihan. Anywhere from Vigan City, hail a tricycle or kalesa [two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage] and tell the driver to drop you at the Hidden Garden.
  • GMW Liner and Florida Liner have buses plying a vice versa Abra and Tuguegarao with a stop in Vigan City route. Anywhere from Vigan City, hail a tricycle or kalesa [two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage] and tell the driver to drop you at the Hidden Garden.

By air. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines flies from Manila to Laoag International Airport. Take any bus bound to Vigan City. Anywhere from Vigan City, hail a tricycle or kalesa [two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage] and tell the driver to drop you at the Hidden Garden.

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Helpful Local Phrases
  • Good morning: Naimbag a bigat; Good afternoon: Naimbag a malem; Good day: Naimbag nga aldaw; Good evening: Naimbag a rabii
  • How are you?: Kumusta
  • Thank you: Agyamanak
  • What is your name?: Ania ti nagan mo?
  • I don’t understand: Diak maawatan
  • How do I get to…?: Kasantnu ak a makapan sadiay…?
  • One: maysa, two: duwa, three: tallo, four: uppat, five: lima, six: ennem, seven: pito, eight: walo, nine: siyam, ten: sangapulo
  • How much is this?: Sagmamano daytoy?
  • Help!: Arayat!
  • Sorry: Pakawanennak

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Other Notable Nearby Places

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References

[1] Facebook.com. n.d. About: LILONG AND LILANG RESTAURANT. [online] Available at: <https://www.facebook.com/pg/hiddengardenvigan/about/?ref=page_internal&gt; [Accessed 26 March 2020].

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