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Ilocos Sur

 
If Ilocos Norte is rich in beautiful and natural attractions, Ilocos Sur, on the other hand, is very rich in culture, heritage and history. One can let herself lost in this place, discovering the past and comparing it to the future. It's the best place to experience an old Spanish-era.  There are many writers and statesmen throughout the history of the country who came from this province too. The Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo founded Ilocos Sur. He named Vigan City, Villa Fernandina (City of Ferdinand) in honor of Prince Ferdinand, firstborn son of Prince Philip of Spain. It was later on called "Ciudad Fernandina de Vigan (Ferdinand's City of Vigan). The locals called it Bigan, which later on became Vigan.

Vigan Church (St. Paul's Cathedral)

Also known as Metropolitan Cathedral is a must visit when you go to Vigan City. It was considered a major religious landmark not only in Northern Luzon but the county as well.

The original church was constructed in 1574. The church as it stands now was completed in 1800. This is truly one of the oldest churches in the country, although it looks new.

The first and original chapel was made of wood and thatch was built with the command of the Spanish founder of Vigan, Juan de Salcedo. The facade of the church does not look impressive compare to the other old churches in the province and the country.  However, it said that the interior of the church is something to be admired.

I only saw this church when we had our Kalesa tour ride and took a couple of pictures.  It's not included in the tour so you can just visit later on when you have extra time.  I will definitely visit this church when I go back to Ilocos Sur.

Syquia Mansion, Vigan, Ilocos Sur

 
Our next stop during the Calesa tour is the Syquia Building. An old house of the former Philippine President Elpidio Quirino, now converted into a museum.  This two-story house is actually owned by the wife of President Quirino, Dona Alicia Syquia (Sy-Kia).

Bantay Tower

The old historic belfry of the church, known as the Bantay (To Guard) Tower, served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish era. It's the first thing you'll see from the entrance of the Bantay Church, a perfect spot to watch for an attack.

Bantay Church (Saint Augustine Parish Church)

Travel Date:April 4-8, 2012
Bantay Church, also known as St. Augustine Parish Church, is one of the popular tourist attractions in the province of Ilocos Sur. A visit in Vigan is not complete without seeing this church. Don't confuse this church to Paoay Church, though, since they have the same official name.

Crisologo Museum

Travel Date:April 4-8, 2012
Not far from Syquia Mansions stands the Crisologo Museum, a museum built in memory of the former Ilocos Sur Congressman Floro S. Crisologo, who died a tragic death. The museum contains most of his and his family's memorabilia
 

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