Vigan

Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines with its Spanish-influenced structures stay intact.

Highlights

  • Strolling and taking photos at the calle Crisologo Heritage Site
  • Explore Vigan on a traditional horse carriage Kalesa
  • Taste Vigan’s Famous Longganisa , empanada and other Ilocano delicacies
  • Enjoy watching the Musical Dancing Fountain

Vigan City is a fourth class city located on the west coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. At present, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines with its Spanish-influenced structures stay intact. It is well known for the cobblestone streets that it has and it is very unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with that of colonial European architecture.

In 2015, Vigan was officially recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities along with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur and La Paz.

Archbishop Palace and Museum

Archbishop Palace and Museum is the residence of the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. In the past, it served as an ecclesiastical court and was also the headquarters of the first president of the Philippines, General Emilio Aguinaldo, in 1898.

The Palace has a museum called “Museo Nueva Segovia” which has a collection of priceless ecclesiastical artifacts and relics from other churches from around the Ilocos region.

 

St Paul Cathedral

St, Paul’s Cathedral, which is also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral, is the setting of many religious activities. It has a Baroque architectural design with neo-Gothic, pseudo-Romanesque, and Chinese craftsmanship influences.

 

Burgos Museum

The Burgos Museum houses a collection of Father Burgos’ memorabilia and photographs, family antiques, and jewelry. It also has Father Burgos’ quarters and a mini library containing his student Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere which was given to him as a gift.

Father Burgos is part of GOMBURZA, a group of martyr priests who died for the Philippines during the Spanish colonialization.

 

Crisologo Museum

Crisologo Museum is a well-maintained museum managed by the Crisologo Family – a prominent political dynasty in Vigan.

On its first floor, you will find an antique cales, the library, and a study where visitors can browse through the book collection and numerous news clippings about the Crisologo family.

 

Vigan Festivals and Fiestas

Want to experience festivities in a very “Pinoy” way? Then this list might help you decide when to come to Vigan!

 

Vigan City Fiesta / Longganisa Festival

The locals of Vigan celebrate the Longganisa Festival every 22nd of January in accordance with the city hood of Vigan. During this festival, one may expect colorful street dancing competitions along Calle Crisologo. This festival features one of the city’s products which is the very famous Longganisa. In honor of it is patron saint St. Paul, Vigan celebrates its town fiesta on the 25th of January.

 

Viva Vigan! “Binatbatan” Festival of the Arts

This festivity is conducted every first week of May where Vigan plays host to visitors who attend the festival which features paintings and product exhibits, a Calesa parade, and other cultural activities.

 

Semana Santa

St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral is the venue for religious rites during the Holy Week. The Good Friday procession features decorated carrozas bearing life – size statues of Spanish vintage. During Easter Sunday, the dawn celebration depicting the Resurrection of Christ, called “Sabet” s definitely a scene to behold!

 

Raniag Festival

Raniag Festival is a Halloween celebration wherein there are colorful and lighted floats paraded around the city with people on the sidewalks cheering and loud music being played in the background.

 

Heritage Village (Mestizo District) / Calle Crisologo

The Heritage Village is a World Heritage site that is famous for its cobblestone streets that have been featured in various postcards, books, magazines, and other forms of publications. This street will give you that nostalgic feeling as if you transported through time into the Philippine colonial period especially at night where there is a romantic ambiance due to the streets that were only lit by street lamps and the calesas passing by.

The street is lined with stores where visitors may buy various Vigan products to bring home as souvenirs.

 

Bantay Church and Bell Tower (Bantay Belfry)

Bantay Church and Bell Tower is a tower on a hill that gives a 360-degree picturesque view of Vigan. Guests may go all the way to the top of the tower to witness the beautiful view and enjoy the cool wind of Vigan.

A few meters away from the Belfry, one may see the St. Augustine Church which was built in 1590 and has deep brown, neo-gothic facade.

HOW TO GET THERE

It’s about 7 – 10 hours’ drive along the scenic Ilocos Highway from Manila to Vigan.

Alternately, you can fly to Laoag’s airport which is about 1.5 hours by car from Vigan city. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines fly daily from Manila to Laoag

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

Vigan situated in the northern part of Luzon has two seasons; the dry season which runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October.

The best time to visit Vigan is during the dry season when the temperature are cooler and the sightseeing tour will most likely not be interrupted by adverse weather.

Another thing to consider when deciding on the date for your Vigan tour is the schedule of festivities. A visit during the Christmas holidays, New Year’s, Vigan City Festival, Holy Week and Viva Vigan celebrations are recommended.

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