“The Heart of Ilocandia / Heritage Village of the Philippines”


           No part of the Philippines is richer in memories of Spanish culture than Ilocos Sur, especially Vigan, the heartland of ancient Ylokos. Almost everywhere in the houses of the “babaknangs” ancient artworks combining Spanish ideas with oriental crafts are found. One has to go Manila to see and witness progress in the making, but he has to go to Vigan to see history in the offing. The Ilocos Sur Museum, founded on August 22, 1970, has a sizable collection of cultural treasures to be proud of. Here, Ilocos Sur art include paintings, centuries-old sculptures and pieces of carved furniture. Here, too, are found relics of Spanish European and Chinese cultures that had influenced Ilocano life for centuries. These relics show Ilocos arts not only for their intrinsic and artistic worth, but also as part of a culture influenced by foreigners, and in turn influencing other regions of the Philippines. Chapters of Philippine history and religion are found in the Crisologo collections which includes family heirlooms, centuries –old “santos”, statuettes, ivory images, Vienna furniture, marble-topped tables, ancient-carved beds, rare Chinese porcelains, jars and jarlettes, lamps, Muslim brass wares, and Spanish and Mexican coins. The Syquia collections, including the late President Quirino’s memorabilla, vies in quality with the Crisologo collections. But in the midst of the fire scare in Vigan last year, the relics in the Syquia Mansion were transferred to Manila for safekeeping.


Credited Source: http://www.ilocossur.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81&Itemid=247

Disclaimer: All images copyright to their respective owners.



By Land: Take a scenic bus trip from Manila, the capital of the Philippines, to Ilocos Norte that lasts about eight hours. Among the bus companies plying this route are the Philippine Rabbit, Partas, Dominion, Florida, Farinas, and Maria de Leon bus lines.


By Air: Book a plane ticket from carriers such as Cebu Pacific or Philippines Airlines to Laoag International Airport which is in the province of Ilocos Norte. It caters to both international and domestic flights. Then you can take a bus from the airport to Ilocos Sur which takes an hour.



The most common mode of transportation in Ilocos Sur would be tricycles or the traditional horse-drawn carriages which are inexpensive. Then going from one town to another would require renting a van, taking a bus or jeepney. But in cities like Vigan, it is best to go on foot to experience local adventure.


  • Ilocano
  • Tagalog
  • English



  • Calle Crisologo
  • Crisologo Museum
  • Syquia Mansion
  • Baluarte City
  • Hidden Garden
  • Pagburnayan Vigan Jars
  • Burgos National Museum
  • Saint Agustin Parish Church
  • Sta. Maria Church
  • Villa Angela
  • Vigan Empanada
  • Bagnet
  • Pinakbet
  • Vigan Longganisa
  • Tinubong or delicacy inside a young bamboo
  • Sinanglao or beef innards stew



  • Riding a kalesa around Calle Crisologo
  • Learning in ancestral houses
  • Pottery making
  • Shopping (for exciting gifts and goodies)


  • Viva Vigan Festival (held every first week of May - the festival started in 1993)
  • Vigan Town Fiesta (held every January 25 – it is the celebration of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Vigan City's patron saint)
  • Kannawidan Ylocos Festival (held every end of January to February in the province of Ilocos Sur - a week long showcase of culture and tradition)



  • The longest religious oil painting in the Philippines can be seen at Saint John Parish Church, Candon, Ilocos Sur
  • Hollywood actor Tom Cruise once stayed at the hotel Villa Angela during the filming of Born on the Fourth of July. You can get the same room – and ghosts – as he did!



It is fine to visit Ilocos at any time of the year, but the months of September, October and November are usually prone to typhoons and rains, so it is always better to check the weather forecast. Though usually the best time to visit is during the summer which is from March to May.


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