Located in the northern part of Luzon, Vigan is a World Heritage Site and a well preserved Hispanic town that has withstood the test of time. The town has preserved its cobblestone streets and old houses that had been built in the Spanish era. Vigan is very charming and popular both to local and foreign tourists alike. Vigan is relatively small and has two major plazas, the Plaza Salcedo and Plaza Burgos.
Here are our Top Five Places to Visit in Vigan:
1. St. Paul’s Cathedral – The cathedral was built around 1790 by Augustinians and it’s designed intended to minimize the damage on the church if an earthquake occurred. The church is just as beautiful outside and inside and it houses the tombstone of a great Ilocano poet named Leona Florentino. Near the cathedral you can also see the Archbishop’s Residence.
2. The Mestizo District – When you visit this place it’s like going back into the past when Philippines were still occupied by the Spaniards. A lot of old houses consist of Spanish and Asian architectural style. You also have an option to ride a “kalesa” or a horse carriage to stroll around this beautiful place.
3. The Crisologo Museum – The museum is located in the Liberation Boulevard and it used to be the home of Floro Crisologo a former congressman and his wife a former governor of Ilocos Sur named Carmeling. The museum has many memorabilia’s of the late congressman and his library and study and has the bloody clothing of the congressman when he was shot.
4. Plaza Burgos – One of the major plazas in Vigan and it is the smaller one, the plaza is dedicated to one of the three martyrs Father Jose P. Burgos he was put to death by the Spaniards. In the plaza you can visit Father Burgos’s monument and learn about his past and what he was fighting for when he was alive. The plaza is also a good place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and it’s also a good to observe the local life and at the same time taste local street food as there are many cheap eateries here.
5. The Ayala Museum – An art and history museum, It was established in 1967 under the establishment of the Ayala foundation. The museum has begun as Philippine history and iconography and later changed around the 20th century as a fine arts and history museum. The museum w=used to be the home of Father Burgos but now it is a museum that stores Ilocano artefacts and a lot of really old utensils and Burgos memorabilia’s.
Have you been to Vigan? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.
Photo Credits (Flickr Creative Commons): Vigan by Jojo Nicdao