A walk thru Vigan’s Heritage Lane at dusk
Walking down the whole stretch of Calle Mena Crisologo in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur – dubbed as the Heritage Lane – is truly a treat for the senses. It’s a blast from the past. The whole stretch is off limits to any form of motorized vehicles. Only horse-drawn calezas are allowed to pass thru the authentic cobbled stone street.
To the more serious history student or traveler, there is more to the stolid, brick-faced and stone structures of the Vigan houses and cobbled stone streets than pure colonial charm that turns tourists’ eyes misty.
It helps that the whole city has been declared by UNESCO as a heritage site and local legislation has been put in place to regulate any form of building restoration, even new building constructions.
Vigan has become synonymous with anything old and of Spanish Colonial Heritage. In truth and in fact, Vigan’s history dates back to much earlier times before the Spanish era when Vigan was a major trading post in Southeast Asia. More than the ancestral, old world charm it immediately exudes, what is delegated to the sidelines are the countless tales of anti-colonial struggles by native Filipinos of a long forgotten era. Also of the more recent struggle of local residents in the midst of a colonial culture and art renaissance which consumed the region in the 70’s during the time of Marcos and the ensuing line of politicos, all in the name of cultural preservation of the region’s heritage.
Talk about manufacturing pseudo antiques and heirlooms to satisfy the cultural cravings of the nouveau riche of Metro-Manila.
It’s okay if one gets befuddled by the questions that are bound to leap from all directions as one walks thru history along the lane.
Just let go and take in the sensory onslaught and savor the experience of being in some form of a time warp.
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