VIGAN HERITAGE VILLAGE (Ilocos Sur)
The historic town of Vigan was inscribed in the World Heritage List in November 1999 because of its outstanding development in architecture, urban planning, and landscape design. It also serves as a testimony to a cultural tradition which has disappeared.
The justification for inscription is as follows:
""Criterion (ii): Vigan represents a unique fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.
Criterion (iv): Vigan is an exceptionally intact and well preserved example of European trading town in East and South-East Asia.""
The name Vigan was derived from ""Biga"", a giant taro plant that grows abundantly along the banks of the Mestizo River. This river was central in the development of trade and community activities in Vigan during the 16th to the 19th centuries. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines and from China with those from Europe to create a unique culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
Places to visit in Vigan include:
CALLE CRISOLOGO. Located at the heart of the Mestizo district. Lined on both sides by centuries-old Vigan Houses, it is made of cobblestones. Ground floors of the old house at Calle Crisologo have been turned into shops where souvenir items and Vigan furniture could be found at reasonable prizes.
ST. PAUL'S METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL. Built by the Augustinians in 1790-1800 in distinctive ""Earthquake Baroque"" architecture. It has three naves, twelve altars, and a choir loft. Chinese influence is evident in its baptistery altar, brass communion handrails, a pair of Fu Dogs, and moldings on the fašade. Most of the original church interior features are still in place. The octagonal belfry is located 10 meters south of the cathedral.
ARZOBISPADO (1783). The only surviving 18th century arzobispado in the country, the palace served as headquarters of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 and the invading American forces under Col. James Parker in 1899. Its Museo Nueva Segovia showcases antique portraits of bishops, a throne room, archdiocesan archives, and other ecclesiastical artifacts gathered from various colonial churches all over Ilocos Sur.
PLAZA SALCEDO. The elevated elliptical plaza west of the cathedral features the 17th century Juan de Salcedo Monument, the oldest of its kind in the Northern Luzon. It was in Plaza Salcedo where Gabriella Silang was executed by public hanging in 1763.
BURGOS NATIONAL MUSEUM. The ancestral house of Padre Jose Burgos is an excellent showcase of archeological and ethnographic treasures, antiques, dioramas of local historical events, and photographs of Ilocano heroes and achievers. A priceless collection of 14 Esteban Villanueva canvasses depicting the 1807 Basi Revolt is exhibited on the upper floor of the museum.
OTHERS: Mindoro Beach Resort, Syquia Mansion Mira Hills Eco-Park, Pagburnayan Jar Factory, Crisologo Museum, Terracotta Red Clay Industry, Abel-Iloco Weavers & Native Delicacy Makers.