A trip to Vigan is a trip to the past. Traversing the streets of Vigan Heritage Village at night makes that trip extra special.
We were told that visitors could rent a kalesa to tour Vigan Heritage Village up until 9 p.m. and that it’s the best way to experience the townscape, so that’s what we did.
You can imagine the rhythmic sound of the passage of the horse-drawn carriage breaking the stillness of the cobblestones and the old, empty houses. The yellow glimmer from the lampposts brought us deeper into the past. This must be a ghostly town, I thought. And I’m sure you would feel that too.
Some shops stayed open to sell souvenirs to tourists, but for us, the best souvenirs were the images we took that night.
This colonial town situated in Ilocos Sur is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as Historic Town of Vigan, marking its significance in Philippine cultural heritage. Vigan was considered for its well-preserved architecture that effectively blends Asian construction with European design.
Vigan happens to be the only colonial town in the Philippines to stay intact throughout the centuries, surviving the bombs that destroyed many towns in Manila and Cebu.
Exploration of the heritage village would show how Vigan does its best to stay true to the colonial town. At the right side of the plaza facing the church are commercial buildings housing fast-food stores such as McDonald’s. These buildings were designed in the fashion of the older buildings surrounding them such that they mesh well with the rest of the town.
Fans of architectural designs, the arts, and history should put Vigan Heritage Village in their list of must-see places.