One of the oldest towns in the Philippines, Vigan is a Spanish-colonial fairy tale of dark-wood mansions, cobblestone streets and clattering kalesa (horse-drawn carriages). It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines. Because of this, Vigan City was officially recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities together with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and La Paz.
The town where I grew up in is an hour away from Vigan City. If you’re coming from Manila, you’ll passed through our town first before you can get to this city. Whenever I come home or when we have guests or visitors coming from Manila, we always bring them to Vigan. We’d rent a kalesa that would take us to museums, clay pottery and the famous Crisologo Street. But to set your expectations, outside of this well-restored Crisologo St (closed to vehicular traffic) and a few surrounding blocks, it is a typical Filipino town like many others.
Burnayan is a potter’s village where from a mound of tight sticky clay dug out from the riverbank, the dark and heavy burnay jars are individually shaped by-hand on a potter’s wheel and fired in an open kiln.
We brought my sis-in-law’s cousin who visited them from US.
If you want to visit Vigan, one of the newest hotels is Hotel Luna. Located at the heart of the Heritage Village, it is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Hotel Luna is the first and only museum hotel in the Philippines.
We dropped by to have some tea and churros.
This is how the bar looks like.
The reception area. The hotel also gives free tour of the museum.
My niece crossing the line.😁
We also asked if we could check out the rooms.
The hotel is reasonably priced considering you’re at the heart of the Heritage Village.
After our brief visit to Vigan, we headed further down north to Paoay, to check out its centuries old baroque church, which is among the four baroque churches in the Philippines designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We arrived early in the evening.
Completed in 1710, the church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building.
Vigan City and the churches you’ll passed through in Ilocos region are a good journey back in time. One feels the aura of the old Spanish times. I have walked these pavements a hundred times now but the grandeur never fades.