Luis “Chavit” Singson may have conceded the recently concluded Senate race and quit politics, but he can take refuge in the fact that his palatial Baluarte home in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur is one of the top tourist attractions in Ilocos Sur, the other being the Spanish-styled Calle Crisologo in the downtown area. The Baluarte stands on a hill and has an excellent view of the city.
Aside from being a mansion with the required pools, courts, and things like that, Chavit’s Baluarte is best known for housing a menagerie too. Like the Gaws who loved collecting animals resulting into Avilon Zoo, Chavit is also fond of collecting animals. But instead of creating a separate zoo like the Gaws, he made his home the zoo instead and opened it to the public. Harry, the friendly tiger, is probably the best known among his animals and often greets visitors at the entrance. The Baluarte also has orangutans, ponies, ostriches, a butterfly farm, lizards, and other types of fowls.
I first heard about Chavit Singson’s home when my younger sister giddily told me that a member of 嵐 (Arashi), a Japanese boy band of which she is a huge fan, visited the Baluarte to shoot a television show segment where Aiba, the boy band member, takes care of Harry (the tiger) and a lion. Read her blog entry about it.