Monday, June 18, 2007

Picture from the island: Vigan

Local and foreign experts describe Vigan as a "place like no other". Its uniqueness lies in its historic townscape which is an architectural blend of Asian, European and Latin American influences. Being the only surviving colonial town in the country, Vigan has more strung along the narrow streets of the old Mestizo District, popularly known in the olden days as Kasanglayan (Chinese Quarters).

Located in the Northern part of the Philippines, Vigan is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila and includes area of the China Sea as a buffer zone on the western side of the town.

Vigan, earlier known as " Ciudad Fernandina" from 1758 to late 19th century, is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country. It has auspiciously escaped the bombs of World War II unlike its sister cities, Manila and Cebu. How and why it has survived the wrath of war is a fascinating story on its own.

Vigan brings images of antiquated houses, cobbled narrow streets, calesas and friendly faces peering out of large windows; a place where "time stood still". Yet, despite all the romantic images this place provokes, much is still unfamiliar about Vigan.

More about Vigan here.

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