Ilocos Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. The province is bounded on the north by Ilocos Norte and Abra, on the south by La Union; on the east by Benquet and Mountain Province and on the west by the China Sea. It has a total land area of 2,579.6 square km. The province of Ilocos Sur is politically subdivided into 34 municipalities and 761 barangays. The history of Ilocos Sur from the beginning of Spanish rule to the first decade of the 19th century was characterized by revolts in protest against tributes and forced labor, as well as monopolies of some industries. The economy of Ilocos Sur is based on agriculture, producing a wide variety of vegetables, animals, and fish. Principal products are rice, corn, tobacco, garlic, sugarcane and cassava. They are expanding into a variety of food-processing industries, and also practice a number of crafts and cottage industries: blanketweaving, basketry, shellcraft, broommaking, pottery-making, wine and vinegar making, jewelry making, wood and stone craft, among others jars and antiques can also be bought in Vigan. Transportation services have been modernized, and tourism is now established. Ilocano is the common dialect of the people. English and Pilipino are widely spoken and still remain as basic tools of instruction in schools. The province experiences two pronounced seasons - dry from November to April and wet from May to October. Mean temperature for the lowlands is greater than 7°C compared to the highlands. Coolest temperature occurs during December to February.
The City of Vigan
Vigan City is the capital city of Ilocos Sur and the seat of the provincial government. The city is located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon and is facing the South China Sea and is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila. The name Vigan came from the Ilocano word "kabiga-an" pertaining to the plant "biga" which is a tuberous plant that once grew along the banks of its rivers. It was once a thriving center for trade and commerce among the people of Ilocandia and the Cordilleras. Vigan is situated at the delta of the Abra River going to the South China Sea. This position at the mouth of the river connected to the China Sea has made trade feasible and convenient with other islands and with China. Vigan was where Juan de Salcedo established the Spanish government of Ilocos and was made the seat of the Bishopric of Nueva Segovia in 1778. It became the center of Spanish rule and influence and the preaching of Catholicism and pacification movements in the Ilocos Region. Vigan is a World Heritage Site in that it is the most intact example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia, and is well-known for its cobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning. Vigan, earlier known as "Ciudad Fernandina" from 1758 to late 19th century, is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country. Vigan brings images of antiquated houses, cobbled narrow streets of the old Mestizo District, popularly known in the olden days as Kasanglayan (Chinese Quarters). People describe Vigan as a place where "time stood still". Yet, despite all the romantic images this place provokes, much is still to be learned about Vigan.
The Landmarks & Attractions of Vigan
* Archbishop Palace * St. Paul's Cathedral * Burgos Museum * Bantay Church and Bell Tower * Pagburnayan (Jar Making Factory) * Crisologo Museum * Heritage Village (Mestizo District) | * Baluarte Mini Zoo * Plaza Salcedo * Plaza Burgos * Leona Florentino House * Mindoro Beach & Playa de Oro Resort * Vigan Tourist Park at Mira Hills |
The Archbishop's Palace (or the Palacio del Arzopispado), which faces the Plaza Salcedo, was finished in 1783 (it took seven years to build). Its interesting...