December 18, 2014

Vigan, The Philippines

What Lonely Planet said: Within the consciousness of Filipino tourism, Vigan is a Spanish-colonial fairy tale of dark-wood mansions, cobblestone streets and clattering kalesa (horse-drawn carriages). The truth about this Unesco World Heritage site is a little more complicated. Yes: Vigan is the finest surviving example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia. But outside of well-restored Crisologo St (closed to vehicular traffic) and a few surrounding blocks, it’s a noisy Filipino town like many others. We’re not knocking Vigan, as it can be supremely romantic, but realise the preservation is not everywhere and you may find it easier to appreciate the places where history is alive, where you can smell the aroma of freshly baked empanadas wafting past antique shops, pottery collectives and capiz-shell windows.

I was there: March 15, 2014 - March 16, 2014

Camera used: LG Galaxy Nexus

Beautiful Spanish colonial era church

St Paul Cathedral

Musical fountain right in front of the cathedral

The show at Plaza Salcedo is on every night at 7.30pm

Me at the entrance of St Paul

Old school streetlight on old school building

The Vigan streets at night are charming in its own way

Crisologo Street

Vigan is a Unesco World Heritage town 


More of Vigan

Horse cart in Vigan

Inside St Paul Cathedral

St Paul Cathedral

Plaza Salcedo

The empanadas at Vigan is absolutely yummy

Not only are the buildings old, even the utilities are old

Just outside of Vigan is St Augustine Church which is a pilgrimage site with documented miracles

Inside St Augustine

Bantay Bell Tower on a hill beside St Augustine


The bell

The bell tower gives visitors a good view of the surrounding areas

St Augustine Church

Vigan at night is a lot more lively