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The historic and picturesque Vigan City a certified UNESCO Heritage Site

Updated on October 1, 2012
Captivating Calle Crisologo at nighttime
Captivating Calle Crisologo at nighttime
The Calle Crisologo street sign
The Calle Crisologo street sign

A blast from the past

Historic, aesthetic and scenic are the best three words that will describe the lovely and wonderful city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur province, Philippines. A fifth class city and at the same time the capital city of Ilocos Sur, the city of Vigan is situated in the north western coast of Ilocos Region (Region 1) overlooking the South China Sea. It is bounded by Ilocos Norte and Abra in the North, Mountain Province in the East and La Union and Benguet in the South.

Vigan City is one of the only three Philippine entries that were inscribed in the cultural site section of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. The other two places that made it to the elite list are the Baroque Churches of the Philippines (1993) and the Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (1995).

The city made it into the list because of its antique houses and paved roads that are well-preserved for many decades already. Vigan City is a testament of the harmonic blend of Asian and Spanish architectures.


Vigan City arch
Vigan City arch
Sightseeing here will be better aboard this "calesa."
Sightseeing here will be better aboard this "calesa."

The centerpiece of the site is the renowned street of Calle Crisologo which has a cobblestone thoroughfare. The place is a living testament of a Spanish colonial town that is one of the most intact in the world. The local government of the city prohibits any types of motor vehicles to pass in the street to conserve the area. The mode of transportation here is via a "kalesa," or a horse drawn calash (carriage).

There are lot of antique shops in the place too so it is a nice idea to bring some extra money to spare. There are also a lot of old yet splendid houses here which are perfect for picture taking, so it is also wise to bring a camera with you.


A must try treat - Vigan empanada
A must try treat - Vigan empanada | Source

You may try the mouthwatering foods like " empanada" which are sold in the different food stalls that are scattered in the place. If you crave for the native recipes here like "bagnet," "pinakbet," "longganisa" and sea weed which are reasonably priced and has the distinct Ilocano taste then you may visit Café Leona. Eating here would be a pleasure since the place boast of a 19th century ambiance and luscious dishes and desserts.

Cafe Leona signage.
Cafe Leona signage.
Bon appetit at Cafe Leona
Bon appetit at Cafe Leona

Ah, Vigan City is indeed a great and historic place. Getting here will make you travel across the memory lane savoring the look and feel of the past.


That’s all folks thanks a lot for the read.

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