Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vigan Domination

Conquering fears, winning over life.. Vigan City..the heart of Ilocos Sur captured my heart with its amazing treasures.. From its people to its Heritage Places.. truly a captivating and charming place that will always curve a smile to anyone who visits it…
About 400 kilometers from Manila is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vigan. It is the capital city of Ilocos Sur located on the west coast of northern Luzon. One can see precious remnants of old Spanish architecture throughout the center of the city. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia with a unique European atmosphere. Several museums exist for the many national heroes that were born here. Vigan is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Philippines. The name Vigan was derived from "Biga", a giant taro plant that grows abundantly along the banks of the Mestizo River. 
I had a once in a lifetime chance to visit this place and discovered how wonderful it is. Here it is….
Baluarte Open Zoo - This is a mini-zoo owned by Chavit Singson. The Baluarte stands on a h429861_3185962041579_1041612830_3192693_1559760783_nill and has an excellent view of the city and is open to the public.
Burnay Jars – Burnay Pottery in Vigan - Jars made from Vigan are much sought-after by foreign and local visitors. This earthenware is called burnay The making of burnay is done with just the use of the potter’s skillful hands and use of pottery wheel and kiln. Fine sand is used to temper the clay, which once fashioned into the desired shape is placed inside high-temperature ground kilns made from brick and clay. But of course I didn’t let the chance pass without me doing an actual pot. Success!! I made a heart Shape Vase. 
429002_3185590672295_1041612830_3192465_109460356_nHidden Garden - If you are visiting Vigan, you shouldn’t miss to visit the Hidden Garden. Especially if you are a flower and plant lover. Experience the beauty of the garden. For sure you will fancy the floral collection, air plants growing on driftwood, and bonsai tree. It is a garden of lush tropical plants and coffee shop. They serve coffee, coconut juice, orange empanada, and fresh fruit shake. I loved the landscape of the garden, too! A lot of celebrity and prominent people have visited this place. You are next to discover this lovely garden of Vigan, too. 
Burgos National Museum. - Its closed so I wasn’t able to take a look on whats inside..:( 
St. Paul’s Cathedral Built in 1790-1800 by the Augustinians, this impressive Baroqu424972_3185991962327_1041612830_3192718_353813842_ne cathedral has most of its interior walls well preserved. The 12 altars and 3 naives only enhances the church beauty and grandeur. 
Sinking Bell Tower The bell tower is octagonal and is located 10 meters south of the cathedral. It is a place not to be missed when visiting Vigan. Located at Bantay, Ilocos Sur this magnificent three century old bell tower is situated only a few minutes from Vigan and is standing on top of a hill. 
Old Vigan Colonial Houses -The ancestral houses were built mostly by rich Chinese traders. These great big houses are made of thick brick walls and plastering with red clay. Tile roofs are made to survive earthquakes. The Mestizo district where more than a hundred houses line side by side along Calle Crisologo. Of course, I had the chance to ride the Calesa and tour the entire Crisologo St and nearby places.. 
Palacio de Arzobispado - Built in 1783, it is the official residence of the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. The palace was the headquarters of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Included in the palace is the Museo Nueva Segovia with a collection of paintings, manuscripts and religious articles accumulated through the centuries. 
Syquia-Quirino Mansion The ancestral home of Dona Alicia Quirino, the Syquia mansion was a venue of official and public functions during the administration of the late Pres. Elpidio Quirino. Soon to be a museum, it will feature an impressive collection of presidential memorabilia. 
Crisologo Museum -The Crisologo Museum contains the memorabilia and antique collection of the Crisologo family. 
Discovering treasures ...Philippines is truly amazing!!

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