March 10, 2009 § 6 Comments
Last year, me and my family went to Vigan Ilocos Sur.
It has been my fifth time, yet, my wife, well, it was her first, despite being born in Pangasinan.
It took us seven and a half hours before we reached the bridge that separates La Union from Ilocos Sur.
And when I saw that iconic concrete arch with the words “Welcome to Ilocos Sur”, I knew deep within my heart that we’re in for a different kind of adventure. And we did.
Ilocos Sur has been one of the few places here that I consider to be closest to my heart. I love the weather there. I love the people. Most especially, I love the rustic feel, the tranquility of the seas and the different kind of sunlight they have there. Those delicious food are just extras.
Someday I would love to buy a property there and settle close to the South China sea if possible. I would love to even die and be buried there.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an Ilokano. My father hailed from Bulakan, while my mother is pure Leytenian. Yet, I sensed an affinity with Ilocos.
We stayed at Santiago Cove resort, owned by one of my dearest friends, Owen Singson. The place is lovely. I can’t even describe to you how beautiful it is. You should try it out for yourself.
Owen was a gracious host. Santiago Cove Resort is one of the top resort destinations in Ilocos Sur. It has complete resort facilities. It’s standard rooms are very modern. We stayed at the presidential suites and it was lovely. I was not surprised that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to inaugurate the place owned by her closest associates Ilocos Sur Congressman Eric Singson. The place is truly beautiful.
Vigan is best known for its old houses, churches and a whole lot more. Kudos to the Department of Tourism (DOT) for their magnificent work in Vigan. The place is really tourist-friendly. You can now eat at Max Restaurant and some global brands have landed there. There’s already a mall in Vigan where you could buy global designer brands.
Vigan’s iconic Plaza hotel is just as old as what I left it some years ago. Yet, the hotel has all the modern tourist facilities inside. Try to stay there for three days. You’ll feel refreshed and alive.
Vigan is spot marked by wonderful vestiges of Spanish colonial architecture. I managed to take some shots and here they are. Relish.
The Church in Vigan is one of the highlights of our Vigan tour. This church has seen so many historical events in Philippine history. It has seen both triumphs and defeats of Ilokanos in their little town’s history.
Ilocos Sur is predominantly peopled with Catholics. The Church exerts a strong influence in the lives of the people here. That’s why, if you look around, Catholic churches are spread far and wide in this region.
The former Arsobispado of Nueva Segovia can be seen in Vigan, attesting to the importance of this place in the scheme of things during the Spanish colonial era.
Here, you’ll still find the seal of the arsobispado de segovia. In the 17th century, Vigan is known as Villa Fernandina, one of the richest cities in the entire Spanish colonial Philippines.
It is likewise one of the eight ayuntamientos, which included Manila, Iloilo, Cebu, Jaro, Batangas, Albay, and Nueva Caceres.
So, Vigan represents the classic display of colonial power in those days and served as a symbol of Iberian influence.
That’s why it’s not entirely surprising that Spanish architectural influence is prevasive in this side of the Philippines. And I congratulate the Department of Tourism for preserving whatever is left of that era here in Vigan.
Here are my other photos. Enjoy!