In case you missed it, the Miss Universe competition wrapped up with Miss France being our new queen. Why do we care about the Miss Universe pageant? It’s because it was held in one of the most tourist friendly countries in the world: The Philippines. Some of our contributors are from that lovely country and they’re more than happy to share their knowledge.
Of all the spots that the contestants were taken to, one in particular captivated our interest. That would be the City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. A bit of research told us that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site–and for good reason!
Vigan has in its bosom one of the few fully intact Hispanic towns in the Philippines. So today, we’ll be discussing 5 things you can do in Vigan.
1.) Do some hands-on pottery at Pagburnayan
Now, this isn’t a shop that you go to. It’s actually referring to an entire area where pottery is centered. There are several shops to go to but the two major ones are called Ruby’s Potter and RG Jar Factory. These places boast of their centuries tested techniques and often have people available to live-demo a pottery session for guests.
One of the best things about these places is that there is no entrance fee–instead, donations are appreciated. If you’re going to be staying a while, it’s suggested to take up a beginners class to really get into the subtle nuances of the art of pottery.
2.) Get your dose of local history from the Crisologo Museum and Syquia Mansion
Once a family mansion, the Crisologo home, was turned into a museum dedicated to one Mr. Floro Crisologo. The place houses his many records of exemplary contributions to the Filipino people and its government. It even has the car wherein an botched assassination attempt was done.
The Syquia Mansion was the house of the sixth President of the Philippines: Elpidio Quirino. It’s rich in history and culture. It houses old world architecture and goods that were indicative of how the elite used to live. The house was originally a gift from Quirino’s in-laws. Apparently, back then–it was a normal custom for the parents of the bride to gift the couple with a home. There are so many other things present in the mansion as well. Treated leathers, old stone stoves, giant fermenting pots are all on display for visitors to enjoy. Knowledgeable staff are also on hand to answer any queries and are more than willing to share old legends and stories.
3.) Try your hand at Loom Weaving
Outside of the city proper is Rowilda’s Loom Weaving. One of Vigan’s primary exports, the old technique of loom weaving with unique patterns are kept alive by the indigenous locals. Marvel at the speed in which these artisans turn brightly colored strings into intricate designs.
There are always people on hand on help you give the activity a try. It can look quite intimidating but it can be an enriching activity.
4.) Enjoy the sights of Calle Crisologo
Named as such after Mena Crisologo, a beloved poet and writer. Calle Crisologo is a stretch of avenue that will give you the feeling that you stepped into a different era. Cobblestone streets and a plethora of buildings that fused Philippine and Oriental building design with a touch of colonial European architecture.
5.) Feast upon the delicacies of the local area
If there was anything Vigan was going to be famous for, it would be it’s longganisa. Vigan longganisa is the Filipino take on the Spanish Chorizo or meat sausage. It is famous for its garlicky, spicy, tangy, and at the same time salty taste.
With these being only the tip of the rich cultural iceberg that is Vigan, it is definitely worth the trip!