Vigan’s pretty houses all in a row

November 9, 2012

One of my favorite philosopher, the late Terrence Mckenna, once said:

“The imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Our tangible heritage is an essential part of this imagination.

Architecture, being one of the earliest and most constant expressions of development – hispano filipino architecture – is the product of the evolving Filipino imagination, as he was slowly shaping his own world in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

There’s a reason why there’s a sense of familiarity in themes and design. The antillean houses and churches were all built to establish an identifiable pattern. Clearly, the voicing out of the Filipino identity and culture.

Here are some more pictures I took in the Sts. of A. Reyes, V. De los Reyes, Plaridel, Singson & Luna:


Back to Vigan

Vigan Before Sunrise

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was lucky enough to have visited this beautiful place back in 2010. After visiting my mother’s hometown, Sta. Teresita, Cagayan, for the one year anniversary of her passing, my sister and I, along with two cousins who came up from Manila to be our guides and translators, were able to visit Ilocos Sur, from where both my mother and my father’s families originate. They are actually from Santo Domingo and Narvacan.
    It was such a magical trip, mainly because my father didn’t come and spoil it for us by telling us to be careful everywhere we stepped. This was a very laid-back trip with my laid-back cousins to a very, very beautiful, well organized, clean, and laid-back town.
    I fell in love with the place, with the architecture, with the food, with the streets, with the shops, and with the people. As an Ilocano, even though I don’t speak the language very well, I can still understand it, and it was very satisfying to be able to hear my language and see my people all over this town.
    I am glad that you had fun here, I hope to return here again and stay longer. We only stayed for four days, but I wished that we had spent our whole time just in Vigan.
    As a psychologists who works with people, Filipinos and Latinos specifically, to help us understand and deal with the effects of colonialism and the rape of culture and theft of land, VIgan holds a very special place for me in understanding my own culture and history.
    I know and understand why many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans would not want to have anything to do with Filipino culture and history within the colonial experience. For many, and understandably so, this period of our history and the internalized self-hatred that many of us have learned from it.
    Vigan for me, along with most of the Philippines (and our Latino brothers and sisters across the Pacific) represents our strength, in the face of oppression and loss of culture, Our ancestors made decisions that made it possible for us to be here right now- right in this moment even to create these blogs about our beloved country. Our ancestors made decisions and made innovations throughout our history to help our people flourish and create beautiful music and places like Vigan. Yes we say and the many books say that it is a Spanish town, and of course I cannot deny that, but it is also a Filipino town, and of course an Ilocano town. Our ancestors took what was available to them, even in such a horrible time as the colonial period and made something beautiful.
    Vigan is a testament to not only Ilocanos, but to all Filipinos, for their strength and ingenuity. Culture, religions, and traditions might have been forced on us through the years, but we made them ours, our ancestors made them ours, and those things are beautiful!!
    Thanks again for sharing.
    By the way I have a few posts about Vigan on my blog including a video that I made.
    Take care, and maybe one day we can have an empanada at Irene’s!

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