September 4, 2019
The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the selection of the City of Vigan as among the CNN’s 13 of Asia’s Most Picturesque Towns.
“The City of Vigan’s heritage, the Hispanic architecture, and the food make it a picture-perfect site and deserving of the spot in the CNN’s list,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage City.
Vigan City, described by CNN as “one of the best places to experience Spanish colonial-era architecture in Asia,” is the capital of Ilocos Sur Province, an ideal destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).
CNN’s Kate Springer also noted the plethora of must-see Instagrammable landmarks at Vigan City including Plaza Salcedo, the restored church of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the trade center at cobble-stoned street Calle Crisologo.
Vigan’s traditional Hispanic checkerboard street plan, grid street pattern and historic urban lay out reflects its rich history, recognized as the best-preserved model of a Spanish colonial town in all of Asia.
“The CNN citation of the City of Vigan means that sustainable tourism is not just about environmental protection but also the preservation of the country’s history and culture,” Sec. Puyat points out.
The DOT chief says Vigan City showcases the local government’s efforts in preservation of its ancestral houses by mandating thorough research and documentation of the building original design before permitting any restoration work.
A touch of Spanish colonial style is also a requirement for the design of new structures in the area to complement the City’s preservation and tourism program.
Family ancestral houses are transformed into museums, souvenir and antique shops, and restaurants while maintaining its original Spanish style influence.
Selected as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities in 2014, Vigan’s attractions include the pottery workshop, food adventures with its established culinary scene that features unique native dishes, such as the Bagnet, a deep fried crispy pork belly dish, Poqui-poqui, a mixed vegetables dish, and theEmpanada, a stuffed fried pastry.
The other localities completing the “13 of Asia’s Most Picturesque Towns” are Thailand’s Phuket Town, Hong Kong’s Sai Kung, China’s Zhouzhuang, and Japan’s Yufuin.