VIGAN CITY, ILOCOS SUR
Vigan’s vision is to create a productive,
investment-friendly, and safe heritage province
that promotes industrial peace, green economy,
employment generation, and poverty reduction
BY ATTY. JAVIER FLORES WITH MIO DELA CRUZ
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ATTY. JAVIER FLORES AND PIE DAVID
Bagnet and longganisa—for some of us, these come to mind when we think of Vigan. For others, the mention of the city’s name evokes memories of walking along the cobblestoned-steps of Calle Crisologo, and snapping a “selfie” or two with its heritage buildings, or maybe buying an abel iloko, the famous handwoven fabric that the region is known for, from the souvenir shops that line the street.
Vigan, however, is an old soul. Vigan is the only city in the country that has been declared by UNESCO
(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a world heritage site, an acknowledgment that it is a living fabric of historical significance.
Recently, Vigan also won a spot as one of the “New7Wonders Cities” campaign of the Swiss-registered
nonprofit New7Wonders Foundation. The campaign allowed people from all over the world to nominate and vote for cities that they believe fit the title of being a wonder of the world. People voted
via telephone and the internet. Since Filipinos are some of the most prolific internet users in the world, Vigan garnered one of the seven coveted spots, alongside Beirut, a city founded in
Garnering those accolades guaranteed a steady stream of tourists for Vigan. But as any conservationist
would know, tourism brings its own boons and burdens. According to Tourism Investment Promotion Officer Edgar de la Cruz, the city receives an estimated one million visitors per year, both in terms of day visitors and tourists who stay overnight. Hotels have been required to expand, and transient houses
have sprung up to accommodate the influx of tourists. The volume of foot and vehicle traffic generates vibrations that threaten the age-old buildings that are the hallmarks of Vigan.