Vigan, a fourth class city and the capital of Ilocos Sur, is known for its 16th century Hispanic town carpeted with cobblestone streets along with unique, oriental Philippine architecture and design fused with European colonial architecture.
|Heritage City of Vigan|
Vigan, came from the Hokkien word “Bee Gan” which means “Beautiful Shore,” was once a major political and coastal trading center before the settling of the Spanish colonizers. The place is made up mostly of wide plains, part forest, flowing rivers and low-lying hills. Vigan City which consists as well of scenic tourist attractions in a picturesque landscape is visited by thousands of tourists year-round. These includes, the famed, most photo’d alley of Vigan, the Calle Crisologo wherein the Heritage Village is situated; the centuries old St. Paul’s Cathedral, known by the locals and tourists alike as Vigan Cathedral, in which the Santo Cristo Milagroso is enshrined; and in front of the said church is where the central park, Plaza Salcedo, is located which was constructed in honor of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo alongside the nearby Plaza Burgos.
Aside from the warm, welcoming Biguenos, the inviting City of Vigan also hosts a number of colorful festivals that tourists will sure enjoy. One of which is the Vigan City Fiesta, known as the Longganisa Festival, held every January in celebration of the cityhood of the place and to honor St. Paul as patron saint, showcasing week-long fiesta activities and exciting competitions while promoting as well the famous Vigan longganisa.
In addition to the flavorsome, good tasting local-made pork sausages, other Ilocano delicacies unique to the place includes empanada (fried, stuffed bread), bagnet (deep-fried crispy pork), poque poque (eggplant dish), and the sinanglao, a traditional beef innards hotpot; which you can try along the famous Empanadaan and or in the busy streets of Quezon Avenue.
Majority of Vigan’s land area is used mainly for agriculture, rotating yields such as rice grains, white corns, root crops and even tobaccos. The heritage city which is bounded by two water systems, the Govantes and Mestizo River, bordered as well by the Mindoro Beach on the west, has witnessed the flourishing galleon trade that opened Asia to other continents.
The downtown Vigan is commonly served by land-based transports such as tricycles, jeepneys, vans and the traditional kalesas (horse-drawn carriage), one of the old modes of transportation long since the Spanish era.
Other points of interests in Vigan, aside from the antiquated, timeworn village where you can have a glimpse of its history and cultural heritage includes the Pagburnayan, where the burnay jars are made in a pre-historic way; the Crisologo Museum, a typical Vigan ancestral house turned into a museum of memorabilias and antiques; as well as the Quema House and Syquia Mansion which was once a residence and headquarter of Vigan’s elites.
To vote for the Heritage City of Vigan, visit the New7Wonders ― Cities of the World official page at http://www.new7wonders.com/en/cities.
*Photo published in this article is credited to It's More Fun in the Philippines and copyright by their respective owners.