General Info
Baluarte is 80 hectares of gently rolling terrains, hills and mountain sides, the structures of facilities and amenities, its phases of construction is in its best possible realistic and natural habitat for good and sound animal care.

Located along the western seaboard of Northern Luzon 408 kilometers north of Manila, bounded in the South by South China Sea, Baluarte has its breathtaking view of Vigan City. Baluarte is open to the public and admission is FREE. It is actually Governor Chavit's gift to the people of Vigan where residents are accorded free use of spaces for their livelihood programs.

 
History
Baluarte started off as a rest house in 1991 with celebrity friends like Fernando Poe Jr. as regular visitor spending long weekends. The place has already considerable numbers of domestic animals like monkeys, chickens, large lizards (bayawak) and rare bird species, right inside the Baluarte forest, these rare bird species are found only in there. Governor Chavit, loves nature and exhibits passion for animals. Baluarte setting is that place where he can enjoy peace and quiet and away from the demands of a busy life and urban living. As a political leader of Ilocos Sur, people searched for him continuously.

So the rest house cannot anymore accommodate people and friends who also enjoy the place, that was, when he decided to slowly construct Baluarte. He first constructed the main house and seeing the beauty of the next, he abandoned the old main house, made it the guest house, and constructed a multi level house on a hilltop that magnifies the fantastic view of Vigan City that stretches all the way to the South China Sea.
Governor Chavit, his Ilocano traits of industry and frugality made the best part of the Baluarte as you can see today. The indigenous materials, like boulders found in the area that was used extensively comprised the construction, is the dominant scenic view of the place. Aptly called Baluarte, taken from the Spanish word meaning, a fortress, a domain, or a territory. He is not a planning guru, he is a hands-on man, and he sure has the knack for the best aesthetic and architectural design one can really appreciate.

Together with his architect Estrellita I. Rugnao, a Chavit scholar, he spent hours in poring over renderings and architectural plans of the facility with the main focus on his social responsibility and cutting edge architecture. Baluarte is not just a zoo, it is his HOME, he opened it to the people and you are most welcome here, so come and enjoy his hospitality.
  Our Mission
  We are dedicated to forging a bond between people and nature by providing a free, family-oriented experience by advancing quality animal-care, education, science and conservation.

In Baluarte, we entertain to enlighten people about the bond between animals and humans through interactive opportunities. Our dedication to provide educational responsibility especially to children is enormous. We believe that play is an essential component of a child's life. It is a natural therapeutic measure.

Baluarte is currently in the state of further improving their facilities for both animals and visitors. We basically plan to implement the open zoo concept wherein animals will be kept in more sizable enclosures to give them more space to roam, play and move around.
 


  Facilities
 
Baluarte construction is still on going. Zoo patrons are given free admission and free use of its facilities in the picnic areas. It is open daily from 7am to 6pm. You are free to bring your food and be at the picnic place of your choice. We have enough comfort rooms available at the entrance. Baluarte staff can accommodate educational tours, please feel free to contact us via email on this website or call 6377-722-7186.
Baluarte supports and promotes eco-tourism in Ilocos Sur. The objective way of doing this is make Baluarte eco-friendly and self-sufficient.
Proper waste management is foremost in the facility. Vermiculture, the latest in the proper waste management process is used in coordination with the Provincial Agriculture office of the Department of Agriculture. This process was first introduced in the Philippines in 1982, wherein biodegradable agricultural and household wastes are acceleratedly composted with the use of imported African Night Crawler earthworms. Composted wastes are then used for the fertilizer consumed in Baluarte and sold for additional income.


  Directions
 
Baluarte is a ten minute drive from Vigan City. Vigan City, the only surviving colonial town in the Philippines the city's Spanish colonial architecture have remarkably escaped the ravages of World War II. Listed in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List, Vigan City has its centuries-old houses with cobblestone paved streets, churches, plazas, public buildings retained for generations to behold.
How to go to Baluarte

By Land - 9 hour overland trip via Philippine Rabbit Bus line, Dominion Bus Corporation, Partas Transportation Company.

By Air - Fly to Ilocandia instead. Laoag International Airport has three[3] times a week 70 min. flight via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Public transport is 80 km. trip to Vigan and 10 minute drive to Baluarte. We recommend the comfortable air-conditioned Partas buses with only three seats across and have better reclining positions.

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