10 Soul Satisfying Reasons Why You Should Vote Vigan as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities of the World
Again, another campaign of The New7Wonders Foundation has been opened to let thousands of possibilities for nations to be recognized is unveiled as they opened the voting for the category of the New 7 Wonders Cities. This is to honor not only the marvel of cities around the world but also to discover rich cultural heritage and history it emanates to its residents and tourists it welcomes. Well, we just earned a spot last 2011 in the New 7 Wonders of Nature when Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the list. Now, we venture into yet another one shot of a chance as we have Vigan City as the Philippines’ entry to the search.
To help you consider the glory of this city into your list, here are 10 reasons to ponder upon:
1. The Feast for the Stomach
If there’s one thing Philippines has to be really proud of, it is the rich and diverse cuisine. Talking about Vigan, it can be a lot more interesting, for Ilocanos and the townsfolk from the city itself invented dishes as classic as it could be. Several musts include the Vigan Longganisa, which is a garlicky sausage typically eaten on breakfasts and best dipped in sukang Iloco (Ilocano vinegar). Another is the Bagnet, which is a variant of pan-grilled pork. It is a crispy, fattening pork belly that is crispy outside which melts in your mouth! One more is the Chichacorn, a puffed, crunchy, and flavored corn in which Garlic is the most popular flavor. Also, Vigan is known for their Tableya or cocoa tablets, which can be enjoyed in warm chocolate drink and champorado.
2. Those Dirty Hands with Clay
Vigan is famous for burnay, a traditional jar. Crafted from a locally abundant clay, burnays were genuinely utilized in the fermentation of basi (sugarcane wine) and bagoong. Today, burnays also serve as beautiful display in most homes for decoration.
3. To Shop for Fancy Fabrics
Today, Vigan still have the women weaving power as they still make the traditional handlooms with locally sourced cotton. These lovely handmade textiles called Abel is a fancy yet ‘fab’ fabric that can be used for pretty much anything, from binakol (blankets) to wall ornaments.
In fact, Abel was so popular during the Spanish period that it overwhelmed the Spanish textile industry.
4. The Breath-taking Calle Crisologo at Daybreak
Calle Crisologo (Crisologo Street) is the cobble-stoned street in Vigan graced with Spanish ancestral houses wherever you look. At dawn this road particularly activates the ‘magical time,’ wherein all souvenir shops and restaurants are closed, and the street is empty. At this very hour, an enchanting experience of a serene Calle Crisologo can be ensorcelling. With all hustle and bustle of tourists and shopkeepers, sidewalks stripped bare of colorful wares, this sight is a treasure.
Especially for photographers who can relish the time, when the light is soft. The gradual lightening of the azure is good for stills and even time lapses.
5. A Visit to the Syquia Mansion
Elpidio Quirino, 6th President of the Philippines, is a Philippine leader who hail from Vigan. He once lived in the Syquia mansion on Calle Quirino, the ancestral home of his wife’s family. The place is a must-see not only because of its historical significance but also for its captivating charm.
Its high-ceiling rooms roofing the hardwood floors are designed with waggish wood carvings of pageboys, country lasses, antique wooden furniture and oriental porcelain. Also, paintings of Quirino, his wife and family members will welcome the visitors. Fact is, one of those artworks is by Fernando Amorsolo, one of the most famous Filipino painter.
6. A River Cruise in Mestizo River
The Mestizo River that meanders gently traces its history back to pre-colonial times when Vigan natives traded products with the Chinese on the riverbanks. Literally, cruise-enthusiasts will travel through history by sailing along the river. The boat sojourns to specific areas in the river wherein life-sized dioramas display important events in Vigan’s history while a recorded voice then tells the story in the background.
The riverbanks are also the perfect showcase of Vigan’s rich biodiversity. A glimpse of the ‘bigaa’ plant can be seen from which the city supposedly got its name.
7. Visit Father Burgos’ house
Padre Jose Burgos of the Gomburza trio, one of the noblest names in Philippine nationalism, once lived in a bahay na bato near the Ilocos Sur Provincial Hall. He along with fellow priests Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora was sentenced to die for a false suit of rebellion against the Spanish colonizers. Their death later on inspired the national hero Jose Rizal who dedicated his novel “El Filibusterismo” to their deed of patriotism.
Now, Padre Burgos’ home is a museum for things ‘all Vigan.’ Here we can find old farming and weaving instruments, photographs of striking Bigueños and more. Also, tread where Padre Burgos’ walked in his bedroom and imagine him write letters on his desk, complete with antique writing implements.
8. Photo Perks from the Bantay Bell Tower
Standing lonely but firm on a green hill overlooking Bantay, a municipality northeast of Vigan, is a superb brick edifice called Bantay Bell Tower. Tourists get most of the picture-perfect shot with this strong edifice by managing poses in which they appear leaning on the tower, carrying it with their bare hands or even forming a heart shape using their arms with the help of enterprising local guides.
Even so, visitors can go up the winding staircase to the top of the tower, where a prodigious bell still with its bullet marks dating back to World War II hangs. This bell goes with much smaller bells around it like a protective ring.
9. A Selfie with the Saint Paul Cathedral
We like selfies, and if there is one structure people rush to do this with is the Saint Paul church. What is awesome about this church is that its belfry is separated from it. Actually, a road between them sets apart the two edifices. More? The church is as historical and as beautiful as Vigan City.
10. You would not want to miss a sight of a UNESCO World Heritage
Since 1999, Vigan has been in the of UNESCO as one of the world’s heritage. Why? It is because we have this unique city with the epic fusion of Asian with European colonial architecture and planning. Because of this, Vigan stepped up to preserve their history and culture. Apart from all those ancestral houses we already marvel at, Vigan homes and establishments enter development and yet maintain epic historical concepts.
I could have given you more reasons to entice you in voting and telling your friends why Vigan should be included in the list, but I didn’t. Anyhow, I believe with all respect, that with all those good reasons I have given, you’ll start loving Vigan too. Don’t miss the chance ‘mi amigo,’ include Vigan as you vote for the New 7 Wonders Cities. Vote now, just visit www.new7wonders.com/en/cities.