Going to the province of Ilocos is a lot like treading back in time. Not simply for the old Spanish colonial housing, but for the very easy laid-back feel of the towns and its people.
In older time periods, Ilocandia seemed to be referred to as a God-forsaken land simply because of its arid and challenging geography. Nevertheless the hardy men and women in this province had the determination and also the will to thrive, and in the end turned it into a rich and plentiful highland. Amidst each one of these, is actually a vibrant record which involves legendary uprisings, monumental edifices, and noble men and women that definitely have made Ilocos a unique and remarkable area that it is now a days.
Vigan is a sleepy place in the middle of Ilocos Sur. It’s no problem finding your way around because the citizens are welcoming and warm to vacationers. Within the center of the community is Plaza Salcedo erected in honour of Juan Salcedo who actually named this unique spot Ciudad Fernandina after King Ferdinand of Spain. Right across from the plaza is St. Paul’s Cathedral built in 1641 and which came under the Diocese of Nueva Segovia in 1758.
A few minutes’ stroll will bring you towards the Burgos House. Today converted into a museum, the house is the birth place of Fr. Jose Burgos, one of the priests executed in Cavite during the revolution. The museum houses what was left belonging to the Burgos family belongings such as antique household furniture, clothing and various other artefacts generously donated by some distinguished households in Vigan.
In fact, Vigan is best noted for its Castillian properties with old tile roofs, real wood floorings and azoteas. These kinds of buildings are situated in the Heritage Village which is the heart of the Mestizo district. Several of the properties remain in possession of descendants of their original owners together with the antique rooms and household furniture intact, while a few of these ancestral properties have been transformed into warm and comfortable inns, museums and galleries, and souvenir outlets.
Although many of these houses have been turned into commercial businesses, the actual brick structures are maintained. The whole region provides an eerie experience highlighted more by the calezas or horse-drawn carriages which continue to be a mode of transportation around town.
You can purchase genuine or reproduction antique furniture around VIgan’s antique merchants or even take a look at pottery factories along Rizal Street for porcelain merchandise. These factories are often more than pleased to give you a demonstration on pottery-making. You can also buy stitched blankets along with table napkins at low prices.
Vigan has been declared a World Heritage Site and it’s also advisable that you see the buildings in the evening with the streets lights on.