Thursday, September 11, 2014

THE VIGAN HERITAGE VILLAGE

A time machine is not that easy to invent. And even teleporting is not scientifically proven unless anyone here has done an extensive research to refute my point.

Calle Crisologo of Vigan City is the epitome of the so-called traveling-back-in-time scenario.  The street is aligned by Spanish ancestral houses, of azoteas in varying Spanish, Mexican and Chinese architectural styles, and ancient tile roofs as façade, complemented by cobble-stoned pavements. 

Truly, apt to be called The Vigan Heritage Village.


The 16th century has seen the glory of a Hispanic settlement in the Philippines.  A horse-drawn carriage (kalesa) parked on every nook and corner of the street was a default.  Today, the glorious past is transported towards the future.


Sans the image of ‘Maria Clara’ (demure endowed with beauty, grace and charm) dressed in elegant gown and cocheros (kalesa driver) in full costume, the architectural façade of the past remains unaltered.  This is the perfect fusion of the present and the past, modern living trapped in a 16th century backdrop.






Can we drink beer on the street gutters of this historical landmark?  A crazy idea entertained for a minute.  The street seems delicate for it to be given the inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It appeared that no one is allowed to be noisy (what a term!).





Fortunate for those residing at the said street, their life continues without being so paranoid and extra careful of destroying any composition of the ‘street museum’.




Varied weather conditions appeared before us in this recent visit to Calle Crisologo. Raindrops were our companion during the weekdays and the weekend allowed the warmth of the sun to be felt.  The scenic historical landscape was a constant view nonetheless.






Being a commercial area as well, where souvenirs and restaurants are aligned, the street is seldom emptied by visitors and local residents.  It has become our goal to take a photo of the street without any human element, or if there is, they should be interesting enough.  Not that I want someone eat live chickens and do some acrobatic stunts on the historical street, but a normal life shall be captured without being so choreographed.





And I have achieved my mission.







It has almost been a daily plan to wake up early and visit Calle Crisologo at the break of dawn.  While other friends from the media were able to achieve the plan, what can you expect from me? I’d rather sleep late at night and wait for the streets to be emptied rather than wake up so early.  But the most important thing is – mission accomplished!






For our last night at the heritage city, we sat at one corner of the street where a friendly and generous resident, opened her front yard, placed a table and chairs to accommodate us for a drinking spree under the view of the ‘supermoon’.  I just love her! I truly admire every Bigueño’s hospitality.




More than the scenic landscape that the Vigan Heritage Village offers, it is the people of the village that I truly commend.  The passion for cultural preservation is overwhelming that without them, we would not have witnessed today and for the years to come, what it was like in the 16th century of Vigan City, Philippines. 

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Vigan City, Philippines is one of the finalists for the New7WondersCities of the World. Show your support and be part of the Philippine history by casting your votes through:



or Text VIGAN10 and send to 29290777 for 10 votes   

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