Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heritage of Vigan

Vigan is famous for its Spanish-era mansions, cobblestone streets, a thick-walled centuries old church, exquisite potteries and horse-drawn carriages. In my few hours stay there, I wasted no time exploring the place and I hope that I have captured the essence of Vigan in this single post.


ST. PAUL CATHEDRAL AND BELL TOWER





Located just in front of Plaza Salcedo, St. Paul Church was built in earthquake baroque style after an earlier incarnation was damaged by two quakes in 1619 and 1627. The construction of the original wooden, thatched church is believed to have been supervised by Salcedo himself in 1574.

On the left side of the church is a separate octagonal belltower.It was built 15 meters away from the main building so that if one structure was destroyed in an earthquake, then the other might still remain standing. The belltower is about 25 meters high and it is surmounted by a large bronze weathercock that is said to symbolize St Peter.


MESTIZO DISTRICT







Undoubtedly, Vigan's most famous place is "Kasanglayan" more popularly known as the Mestizo District. Although generally considered Spanish, the architecture is actually a combination of Mexican and Chinese styles with Filipino flourishes such as sliding capiz-shell windows.

This district contains the largest concentration of ancestral homes and other colonial-era architecture. While couple of mansions have been converted into museums, most are private homes. Most of the first-floor, however, of these mansions were converted into souvenir and antique shops. The entire district is closed to vehicular traffic, giving it an old-Europe feel so tourists could either walk or ride in kalesa or horse-drawn carriages.


POTTERY SESSION





Vigan is also famous for its potteries. This is due to the abundant clay in the area. Most notable of the jars made in Vigan is the burnay or earthen jars used in the fermentation of sugarcane wine.

A few hours in Vigan is definitely not enough if you want to explore its culture and history in details but I believe that few hours is enough for it will leave you wanting to go back for more. For now, I leave Vigan with chichacorn, bagnet, a souvenir jar and a handful of memories.

Hope you enjoyed these pics as much as I had fun taking them.

59 comments:

  1. wow st. paul cathedral was such a stunner....

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  2. behind these places lay the things i dearly love: FOOD!!!
    bagnet, kalamay, empanda. yumyum. gusto kong bumalik ulit!

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  3. I am glad that they have preserved such a beautiful part of our country. I just hope that they will continue to preserve it for the future generations to see.

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  4. This is a great tour of Vigan. thank you

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  5. Great captures Mr. Lawstude. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. What happened to the base? It sure looked awkward.

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  6. Wow Vigan. I heard so much about the place and your photos just prooved how great the place is. I hope to go there someday.

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  7. napawow ako sa mga pictures mo. maganda ang church ng st pauls lalo na ang bell tower nito.

    kung pupunta ako ng vigan parang nakapunta lang ako sa france. magkano ba ang bayad kung sumakay sa kalesa?

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  8. we've been there lastyear with my daughter. I purposely just show Vigan to her because I worked in Vigan before

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  9. @ travelphilippines - ilocos has lots of stunning churches and this one is no exception. too bad the weather is gloomy when i took this shot, but i guess it turned out ok.

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  10. @ wanderingcommuter - the bagnet is really good (makolesterol nga lang). empanada and other street foods there are great also specially the puto inside a bamboo (i forgot the name pero ang sarrrrap.)

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  11. @ uno - i agree 100%. i heard that the spanish-government has continuously grant financial assistance to the local government for the maintenance of the site. that's certainly good.

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  12. @ evlahos - thank you sir. glad u like it.

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  13. @ rich - what base? you mean the jar? i guess it is still unfinished. the funny thing is, they sometimes made these jars that way 'coz some of them end up as ornaments of gardens anyway.

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  14. @ vinzent - it is about 10 hours away from manila. it was only a side-trip on our way to pagudpud but next time i will definitely stay longer.

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  15. @ redlan - ahm, i don't know about france, i guess some things might be similar because of the spanish influences.

    kalesa ride is Php 150 per hour and it will tour you around the city.

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  16. @ belen - close po pala sa heart nyo vigan. i bet nag-enjoy po kayo mag-ina. salamat sa pagbisita.

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  17. vigan, while an important historico-cultural area, unfortunately, for the visitor, after doing the rounds of the mestizo district, the pottery, the church, pone feels like, is that it? I think they should do more than the museums and shops.

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  18. wow! it's amazing how they preserved this place..i;ve heard much about this place but never been there...nice photos!

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  19. It sure is a nice place; especially the cobblestone streets! Very vintage.

    (:

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  20. i hope i can visit Vigan someday=)
    thanks for droppin by on my blog=)
    have a nice vacation=)

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  21. Nice pics... amazing how Vigan had preserved the historical Spanish quarters. Love to visit this city :)

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  22. this is a very nice town! I like the pottery!

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  23. @ estan - you know what? i kinda agree 'coz it took me less than 2 hours to tour the city center. i would love to stay there for a day or two to check out their beach as well as their food but nothing more.

    the good thing is vigan is a must see-place and should be included in every ilocos itinerary.

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  24. @ dakilang islander - thank you, most of these ancestral homes are private but the foreign and local government give grant and assistance for their restoration.

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  25. @ kyels - walking along crisologo street really takes you back in time.

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  26. @ dra. rio - thanks for dropping by my blog too.

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  27. @ bw - i agree. you should visit this place along with other ilocos' must visit places.

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  28. @ luke - their potteries are really nice. i took home one.

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  29. Nice work you got in here. Great shots too.

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  30. nice pictures LS,
    very nice.
    the last time i was in vigan was in 1989.
    (incidentally, it was also my first time)
    your pictures revived my memory and made them even better.

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  31. Very crisp, clear and beautiful shots. My favorites are your shots of the church and the old homes lining the Mestizo district. The old homes remind me of the rowhouses I see in certain parts of New York City and Hoboken in New Jersey.

    Thanks for dropping by. It was much appreciated. :)

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  32. wow, they really maintained the place. Ganda!

    At ang galling mong kumuha ng pics kuya!
    Mas naappreciate ko tuloy yun lugar!

    parang nag time travel ka lang kuya=]

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  33. I've said this many times: I came from Ilocos Sur, but never been to these places. We have lots of "burnays" at home though...

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  34. Vigan is definitely one of the places I need to visit! Thanks for the wonderful photos!

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  35. Very beautiful architectural buildings. I always loved to look at another country's local products and crafts. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. @ pinayintheus - thank you for appreciating and welcome to my blog.

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  37. wow, vigan naman ngayon. oman, are you sure traveling isn't your line of work? :-))

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  38. @ exskindiver - it's may second time in vigan. was there in the 80s too and lots of things have changed. lots of commecial establishments (jollibee, mcdo, greenwich, malls) now competing for attention. the mestizo district however basically remain the same.

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  39. @ acey - i take that as a sign that you like it. lols. have a nice day.

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  40. @ panaderos - thank you. i really want to show everyone that i had fun taking them. the place just awed me.

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  41. @ cedeux - mas mabilis nga yata ang time travel kesa sa biyahe kasi almost 10 hours ang biyahe pero its all worth it naman.

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  42. @ ely - usually kasi ang concept natin ng travel or libot kailangan malayo. your lucky ang ganda ng lugar nyo.

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  43. @ mirage2g - yeah. better check it out together with other ilocos hotspots that i will post soon.

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  44. @ alicesg - these are really century-old buildings and one of my country's pride. you are very much welcome.

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  45. @ oggie - bai, my line of work involves boring numbers and laws. libot lang talaga ako pag may time.

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  46. hi Atty, am honored that u have visited/read my post.., oh by the way, can i be a part of your roll so u could visit again.?.:)

    be surely back here in your portal, too..your amazing photographs gave me source of comfort and joy :)

    more of these..

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  47. aww. di pa ako nakakapunta d2. every summer, pinaplano namen pumunta d2. kaso as always, hanggang plano na lang lahat. :(

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  48. Nice shot of a beautiful place. Hope to go there someday!

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  49. @ aj - sure, i have just linked you. thank you for your kind words bro.

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  50. @ vanny - the same thing is happening to me. i have been planning to go to batanes for 3 years now and have even booked a flight this year but somethings always comes up. hope to finally go there next summer.

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  51. @ vanessa - thank you, you should go to ilocos and include vigan in your itinerary. the place is awesome.

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  52. You surely captured the essence in a single post; great synthesis power! The Cathedral is stunning, and some of the buildings look like some in Cartagena de las Indias, Colombia...
    Hope you have an excellent week ahead!

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  53. Didn't you try Vigan's great tasting empanada dipped in vinegar and chili peppers? i'm drooling just thinking about it!:D

    Vigan is indeed a photographer's paradise. Thanks for sharing these photos.

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  54. another thing, they should do something about the very high accommodation rates. okay lang if the rooms are well done but unfortunately, its in poor taste.

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  55. @ gmg - thank you sir. this part of my country is home to well-preserved century-old churches and bellfries. and vigan is known for its ancient houses and buildings.

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  56. @ luna miranda - sayang, nakakita nga ako nyan eh (kulay orange yun ryt?) kaso nakasakay ako kalesa. definitely next time.

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  57. @ estan - we didn't stay there, coz it only took us few hours to wander around the city. but i do hope that the local government could do something about that because high cost of accomodations could spell disaster in their tourism program.

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  58. try to revisit vigan...dami n pinagbago...i suggest u visit BALUARTE of Chavit Singson

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