Friday, August 16, 2013

Vigan

My Philippines boasts of its Spanish heritage. Being under the colony of Spain for centuries, it is typical to see Spanish architectural buildings and houses all over the country.
Typical window panels in the olden days.

Having said that, the town of Vigan is just one of the many towns all over the country where Spanish influence is very much felt. It is only in Vigan where you can find this well-preserved planned Spanish colonial town is still existing despite the inevitable mushrooming of modern architecture.
One of the many century-old houses turned souvenir shop in Calye Crisology

The city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur is one of my Philippines' important sites which was included in UNESCO World Heritage lists in 1999. Calye Crisostomo is the very heart of Vigan, it is where you can find what Vigan is all about.
Calye Crisology now.

The famous cobblestone paved street of Calye Crisology is lined with century-old Spanish houses where horse-driven carriages called "Kalesa" traversed from colonial Spanish era to the present time.

The famous cobblestone of Calye Crisologo.

Though Vigan used to be just an ordinary place or home to Filipinos many many years ago, tourism paved a way to what we now know Vigan City in the present time - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important tourist spot.
Ice Cream Cart, typical to Filipino entrepreneurship.
One of the souvenir shops in Calye Crisologo

Because of tourism, most of the old houses are now either stores that sell souvenirs or museums. What used to be homes to wealthy Filipinos and influential Spaniards  are now homes to Filipino entrepreneurs.
Sign of one of the souvenir shops. This is the name of my niece too.

But despite the fact that this historical street now become its key financial site in terms of tourism, they were able to preserve the beauty of the once glorious Spanish era.
It was my very first time to visit Vigan. Though I lived in the Philippines all my life, it was not until I came home for a visit last summer of 2012 that I was able to really see this place that I only came to know through one of my Philippine History subjects. Well, Philippines has 7,107 islands so go figure. LOL.
That visit was like another lesson in Philippine History. I was like transported to the Spanish Era to relive the life of my forefathesr just for a day. I have seen many houses like those ones in other part of the country or even in my own town but never have I seen as many of them as in just one street. Blame it to the charm of modernization.
My brother Japol and I spent just a day in Vigan for a photo walk and to have a taste of its famous empanada and bagnet (which I will write about next) but it was indeed another fun-filled experience for me. It was educational and yummy at the same time. wink*


For more Information about Vigan, click on the following links:
1. Historic Town of Vigan
2. Video of UNESCO for World Heritage List
3. Welcome to Vigan
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This is regular weekly post for MY PHILIPPINES. For more interesting story about the beautiful "Pearl of the Orient"... click HERE.

4 comments:

Judy SheldonWalker said...

Fascinating. It put me in the mind of some of the sights I would see when living in Spanish Harlem.

Self Sagacity said...

The architecture is very Spaniard. the looks of adobe and browns. a very informative article.

Cherry said...

naunahan mo pa ako makarating dyan eh malapit lang ang province namin dyan. hehehe! supposed to go there last December kaso di natuloy.
ps
emailed you a list of paying sites. may happine$$ flow in your blogs. ;)

betchai said...

beautiful shots Ruthi, hopefully, I get to visit this historical place someday as well.