The horse-drawn carriage, serving as our mode of transportation on one afternoon, passed by alleys and Spanish-inspired colonial houses sans the cobble-stoned pavements as the obstructed view of a small church painted in yellow with white linings came into sight. 

The electrical wirings from lamp posts erected on each corner of a busy intersection relatively hides the panoramic view of “Bassit nga Simbahan” of Vigan, City.

“Bassit” in the native dialect of Vigan City literally means “small”.  As the name suggests, “Simbaan a bassit” is a small church as compared to one of Vigan City’s icon, the Saint Paul Cathedral of Vigan City but equally grand and “photo-worthy” on its own.

electrical wires part of the church facade


As our cochero parked the kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) in front of the church, we begin to wander in the vicinity.  The door of the church was closed and nowhere can we find a caretaker to allow us to inspect the interiors. Thus, to content ourselves with what is given.

Adjacent to the small church is a cemetery.  One thing that caught my attention of the grave marks is the fact that one of the buried died before and another after my birth date.  What’s with the month of September anyway?  Either they die or most are born in this month.  In fact, majority of the circle of friends I have are born in said month.  Why?  I hate to speculate and this is off-topic so pardon the hanging question and the segue. Now, let’s go back to the church.

images of Santo Nino

take a look at the grave markers - September it is.

Varied images of Senor Santo Nino are likewise displayed near the entrance of the cemetery, adding charm and creepiness to the small cemetery. 

A small cemetery in a small church – this is one of Vigan City’s iconic landmarks, less known yet can be mandatorily part of a kalesa tour as the church stands noticeable to every passer-by of the province of Ilocos Sur.

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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  1. wow! a trip to vigan seems like stepping into a time machine. really cool place.