Ilocos Region (Region 1)

Rihiyon na Sagor na Baybay na Luzon (Region at the Northwest Coast of Luzon)

Guide, Reference and Links about Vigan. Islands Philippines Places and Destinations
 

Vigan City Islands Philippines

Vigan City Islands Philippines

Local and foreign experts describe Vigan as a "place like no other". Its uniqueness lies in its historic townscape which is an architectural blend of Asian, European and Latin American influences. Being the only surviving colonial town in the country, Vigan has more strung along the narrow streets of the old Mestizo District, popularly known in the olden days as Kasanglayan (Chinese Quarters).

Located in the Northern part of the Philippines, Vigan is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila and includes area of the China Sea as a buffer zone on the western side of the town.

Vigan, earlier known as " Ciudad Fernandina" from 1758 to late 19th century, is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country. It has auspiciously escaped the bombs of World War II unlike its sister cities, Manila and Cebu. How and why it has survived the wrath of war is a fascinating story on its own.

Vigan brings images of antiquated houses, cobbled narrow streets, calesas and friendly faces peering out of large windows; a place where "time stood still". Yet, despite all the romantic images this place provokes, much is still unfamiliar about Vigan.

The name came from the Ilocano word "kabiga-an" pertaining to the plant "biga" abounds. Biga is a tuberous plant (alocadia indica) that once grew along the banks of its rivers.

Vigan was once a thriving center for trade and commerce among the people of Ilocandia and the Cordilleras. It is situated at the delta of the Abra River (now the Mestizo and Govantes Rivers) going to the South China Sea. This position at the mouth of the river most probably afooded its existence as it was a fluvial harbor connected to the China Sea, making trade possible with other islands and with China.

Today, Vigan was recently included in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List in December 1999 and converted into a component city last January 21, 2001. In partnership with the government of Spain, the Vigan Master Plan is in the process for the revitalization of the historic Vigan.

 

Philippines Cuisine Characteristics

The traditional way of eating is with the hands, especially dry dishes such as inihaw or prito. The diner will take a bite of the main dish, then eat rice pressed together with his fingers.

This practice, known as kamayan, is rarely seen in urbanized areas. However, Filipinos tend to feel the spirit of kamayan when eating amidst nature during out of town trips, beach vacations, and town fiestas.

More details at Philippines Cuisine Characteristics

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