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 City, its capital is a UNESCO's World Heritage Site with few Hispanic towns still intact and preserved. This most visited tourist attraction in the province is considered the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. It is currently one of the finalists in the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World. During the Spanish-era, the British appointed governor, Diego Silang, ruled Ilocos Sur. He conspired with the British forces to overthrow the Spanish rule in the north. He led a revolt from Spanish taxation and abuses and his belief in self-government. He was killed by one of his friends, Miguel Vicos. His wife, Gabriela Silang, continued his fight. She was captured and executed by hanging in Vigan Plaza, along with her troops.

The historical Battle of Tirad Pass happened in this province also. The battle commanded by the national hero Gregorio del Pilar in order for Emilio Aguinaldo's escape. All of his 60 men were killed during the battle and it's believed that he's the one to be killed.  Cornered and outnumbered by the American soldiers, these men keep fighting until their last breath.

Ilocos Region is blessed with people who can lead.  Both province have their natives as the Philippine President.  Elpidio Quirino, the sixth President of the Philippines was born in Vigan. Jose Apolonio Burgos, mostly known as Padre Burgos was also a native of Vigan City. He's a priest accused by the Spanish of mutiny and was executed in Manila along with two other clergymen, Jacinto Zamora and Mariano Gomes. They are popularly known as the "Gomburza".
Ilocos Sur can be considered as the Tobacco capital of the Philippines.  Passing along the mountains and fields, you'll see the growing tobacco plants. The province, specifically Candon City, celebrates the Tobacco Festival as thanksgiving to the abundant harvest of tobacco. 

I would love to return here one of these days and visit the other tourist spots.


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