Ilocos Trip: Vigan

The Heritage City of the North

I instantly fell in love with the city the moment I got there. Finally, I was able to set my foot on the photographic cobblestone streets of Vigan–the city that boasts a highly preserved Spanish colonial architecture.

Vigan is famous of this historic townscape that also nests the local traders who sell Ilocano pasalubongs like basi (wine), vinegar, chichacorn, longganiza, wood craft, woven cloths, and etc. Embracing the cultural dip that the city has to offer, I got around by touring the city with a horse-drawn calesa and took stops at the famous tourists spots.

First on our list was the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral and its bell tower. The Burgos National Museum–which is the actual house of the late Padre Jose Burgos turned into a museum–houses a lot of ancient Ilocano tools and even ethnic coffins. The Baluarte, Chavit Singon’s mini zoo, offered interaction with his tigers, ostriches, donkeys and butterfly farm.

Truly a place like no other, Vigan is included in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. Also, it’s so amazing that even if there are “modern” establishments in Vigan (e.g. Globe telco, Chowking, Jollibee, McDo, Max’s Resto, etc.), they are still built in the same old-style Spanish buildings to preserve the Spanish theme.

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