Harry the friendly tiger

Harry the friendly tiger

A new attraction around the Vigan area in Ilocos Sur is Chavit Singson’s Baluarte. If Ilocos Norte is Marcos territory, Vigan is where the Singson’s rule. The Baluarte is a 20 hectare land with a mini zoo, shooting range, and a chapel. It is also known as Chavit’s Fortress. Access to the mini zoo, where Singson’s numerous pet tigers and other animals are found are free for the public, as he considers this as a gift to the people.

Even if the place is still being developed, the place does look good. Harry, the friendly tiger is found at the entrance. Unfortunately, the handler isn’t around because I’d really want to touch that tiger. Seems like a giant stuff toy. I must warn though that if you are going to bring children, watch them closely as the cages for the wild tigers aren’t safe. The cages are too accessible and a child can easily slip their hands as the bars are too wide apart.

Ruffa, the lonely orangutan

Ruffa, the lonely orangutan

There’s also Ruffa a lone Orangutan nearby Harry. She’s quite gloomy at that time as we found out later that her companion orangutan just died.

The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden

Butterfly macro

A butterfly macro shot

There’s also the butterfly garden there. A walking tour inside would be worth a while. See how they breed and grow their butterflies from cocoons.

A free pony ride

A free palomino ride

Also enjoyable for the kids and kids at heart is the free palomino ride where it will take you to a large field where ostriches are free to roam around. Although it’s free, it would be courteous to give a tip to the driver.


A towering Ostrich

Singson's Baluarte

Singson’s Baluarte

There are still more animals and sights to see at the Baluarte, and I bet once the place has finished in development it would draw more crowds as a recreational activity from visiting Vigan. We asked our caretaker-slash-guide on how much is it to maintain the place, he said it takes around a million pesos a day to maintain the place. Wow! Singson indeed has a lot of money to spare.

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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

45 Responses to “Baluarte ni Singson”

  1. di natin napuntahan yan nong north luzon venture, maganda pala talaga ang zoo na yan… 🙂

    buti maamo oyng butterfly…hirap maka tiyempo ng ganyang shot! mailap lahat ng butterfly na nakikita ko eh… 🙂

  2. Peggy Matheson

    Harry is super friendly and he likes it when you scratch him between “the toes”. He was just a cub the first time we met and cute as a button. At that age tigercubs are just like a human baby so when he he took my hand in his mouth my comment was “his teeth are itching just like any kid that age”. He loves having his belly scratched and if he licks your face it’s as if you polish your face with sandpaper. See you later this year my friend! Yes Harry is a friend – it just so happens that this friend has 4 legs and can growl.

  3. denmark

    good pm were from bmgtravel and tours in cavite. we are requesting for your contracted rates.. we do have clients barangay captains from castillejos zambales this july and we refer them to visit baluarte


  5. well maganda po yung place at mabuti na lang e2 yung napiling puntahan lugar namin sa seminar and tour ng ceu makati tsaka ang cute ng ostrich nag-byubyutipul eyes pa! >_<

    and maala hollywood pa yung pangalan BALUARTE!

  6. nice place in BALUARTE NI SINGSON…njoy ang mga kidz….pati na rin kami…kagulo sa picture-picture…..and d most we like it kasi open for public….NO ENTRANCE FEE…

  7. ivy rose

    OLA! baluarte ni singson is very very a nice place for the family to have have and enjoy takiong picture taking with the animals..but sad to say my didicam corrupted so i was not able to print it…anyways, i’ve been there last may 11 and my daughter enjoyed very much that she wanted to touch the big snake..hehehe….next year we will visit again BALUARTE… see you all there…

  8. tigasin

    mas maganda sana ang baluarte ni singson kung si chavit kasama din sa mga nakakulong dun sa zoo. ipamigay mo na lang kaya sa mahihirap yang yaman mo. dahil ang kayang makapunta din lang naman dyan ay yung may mga pera lang. pakitang tao ka naman masyado..

  9. jonathan joven

    dear sir i have offer my profession as a taxidermist my experience since 1997, if you have mortality please contut me to preserve the speciemen 09289930594

    thank you very much see you soon.

    Jonathan C. Joven

  10. anthony cesar cabanada

    im hrm student here in pangasinan in alaminos city if ill grauat ths aprl can u help me to fnd a job if its okey bec. its hrd 2 fnd a job .maganda sana mag trabaho sa barko kaso mahrap mag aply kapag walang baker pls just cantck me sir……09097175355 thk u sir tatanawin kung malaking utang na luob ito kung ayaw nio po okey lang thk u sa pag basa ng msg ko.pero umaasa po me thk u gud blees u

  11. ang saya saya dito.. the best part is, the animals are really there! (hehe, zoo nga nOh?!)
    I really enjoyed theplace.. kung pwede nga lang tumira na dun eh, wehehe..

    Definitely and strongly recommended!

  12. john paul

    sobrang ganda ng place na ‘to. ok lang kahit sabihin nila na katas ‘to ng jueteng or “this is where your taxes go.” the thing is this is not an ordinary zoo, unlike other zoos in the metro na may entrance fee na may “this is where your taxes go.” medyo dapat lang bilisan ang improvement ng parking kasi dumadami patronizers nya.

  13. Jazmin kate

    grabe saya d2 sa labas kita na ang hayop may tiger sa entrance sa gilid may ostrich na libre pa ride sa kalesa na t2lak ng donkey yung mga deer lumalabas pa , tas pwede pa pakainin ang camels ang cute nung parang lama sana pag punta kami completo na para mas enjoy.may dino pa kaya lang hindi gumagalaw . hihihi.

  14. Pia C.

    I really hope the management of Baluarte, as well as the tourists, come to realize that they should be more sensitive to the plight of the dwarf horses. The Baluarte offers free carriage rides by the dwarf horses to their detriment. Today, I witnessed a sight of exhausted and wounded dwarfed horses being whipped every 3 seconds so as to carry a load of an average of 3 adults at a quicker pace. Animals are not machines and people should be more aware of this. Attached is a photo of one of the wounded and very exhausted dwarf horses.


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