Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome to Vigan

The name Vigan was derived from "Biga", a giant taro plant that grows abundantly along the banks of the Mestizo River. About 400 kilometers from Manila is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vigan the capital city of Ilocos Sur. It is located on the west coast of northern Luzon.

You can see precious remnants of old Spanish architecture throughout the center of the city.Vigan is established in the 16th century and is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia with a unique European atmosphere. It is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Philippines. Several museums exist for the many national heroes that were born here.
First glance at St. Paul Cathedral or the Vigan Church in the town proper of Vigan.

St. Paul Cathedral was built in 1790-1800 by the Augustinians.This mpressive Baroque cathedral has most of its interior walls well-preserved. Its 12 altars and 3 naives only enhances the church's beauty and grandeur. The bell tower is octagonal and is located 10 meters south of the cathedral.

To get to Vigan City from Manila, you can get a bus or take a plane to Laoag City and take a bus ride to Vigan. There are many places to stay. Many ancestral houses have been turned into quaint hotels and inns. There are also many bars and restaurants offering a variety of local and international dishes.

Buses that ply Manila & Vigan daily (approx. 7 hours trip):

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines: Rizal Ave., Manila & EDSA, Q.C. Tel # 734-9838, 734-9836
Dominion Bus Line: New York St., Cubao, Q.C. Tel # 731-4180, 741-4146
Partas Bus Company: Aurora Blvd., Q.C. Tel. # 725-7303, 724-9820
Maria de Leon Transit: Dapitan cor. Gelinos Sts., Sampaloc, Manila Tel # 731-4907

PAL (Philippine Airlines) and Cebu Pacific flies to Laoag City 3 times a week. Laoag, 80 kilometers away from Vigan takes about 1½ hours to commute.

I'll post the other tourist spots separately. :)

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