World Heritage Site Vigan, Philippines

Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
The City of Vigan is a 5th class city in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. It is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur. The city is located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. When visiting Vigan, it is best recommended you stay overnight to be able to visit most of its tourist spots. Here are some of its tourist spots.

Vigan Heritage Village (kamestizoan district)
Vigan is especially impressive in the early morning, when the diffused light transforms the old town wtih its colonial houses and calesas into a scene reminiscent of the 17th century. The old town is closed off to normal traffic until 10am. UNESCO has already approved money for the redevelopment of the old town centre, also known as "Vigan Heritage Village", with its over 180 so-called Vigan houses. Really nice to visit this area riding a calesa. Its like being transported back to the Spanish times.

Century Old Church
The Cathedral of St Paul near Plaza Burgos, built in 1641, is one of the oldest and biggest churches in the country. It is well worth a visit if you're interested in churches.

Plaza Salcedo
Right in front of the Saint Paul Cathedral is the Plaza Salcedo, named after the Spanish conqueror, Juan de Salcedo. Visitors will also find in Plaza Salcedo a garden where one will see a diorama of the world’s man-made wonders like London’s Big Ben, Moscow’s St. Basil Basilica and Paris’ Eiffel Tower. A miniature of Vigan’s heritage site was also included by Governor Deogracias Savellano in the world diorama to stress upon the viewers the importance of the Heritage Village and its valuable contribution to the cultural heritage of the world. Salcedo Plaza is best visited early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hot sun at its strongest and to fully enjoy the quieter atmosphere of this elliptical plaza with its cooling fountain display. The plaza’s lagoon was added in the seventies to store water. It was also the site of the execution of Gabriela Silang in September of 1763. The first woman leader of the Philippine revolution was publicly hanged there to serve as a warning to the restive populace.

National Museum Padre Burgos
Syquia Mansion 
Crisologo Memorabilia Museum
The birthplace of Padre Jose Burgos, who was executed by the Spaniards in 1872, is well worth a visit. The house in which he was born was taken over by the Ayala Museum (aka National Museum Padre Burgos) in 1975. 
In the Crisologo Memorabilia Museum, Liberation Blvd, there are mainly antiques belonging to the Crisologo Family on display. 
Syquia Mansion on the other hand, houses the memorabilia of the late 6th President of the Philippines Elpidio Quirino. It is the ancestral house of his wife. 
Check out also the religious museums; Museo San Pablo and Museo Nueva.

Burnay Jars - Burnay Pottery
Jars made from Vigan are much sought-after by foreign and local visitors. This earthenware is called burnay. The industry that has grown from the making of burnay dates back to pre-colonial times when immigrants from China came to settle in Vigan. They practiced the craft of making earthenware using the grade A clay that was found in plenty in the Western area of Vigan. Its earlier use were for tea drinking, and as container for salt, brown sugar, water, local wine (basi) and bagoong (fermented fish). It is even said that basi and bagoong taste much better when stored inside burnays. 

Baluarte Zoo
Baluarte Ni Chavit Singson is such a delight. First time to see a tiger upclose without the confines of a cage. The place is huge with plenty of animals. You can ride their horse drawn carriage. A butterfly sanctuary is also available for you to enjoy. The landscape is beautiful. You can see green everywhere. Great for family outings. What will impress you the most is the generosity of the man who let you enjoy this place without charging a single cent!, Mr. Chavit Singson. Such generosity!

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