Our next stop is in the historic city of Vigan, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (earlier we featured another Heritage Site). The city is always cited as “the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia,” and is best-known for Calle Crisologo, a half-kilometer stretch of cobblestoned street lined with fine examples of 18th century Filipino-Spanish architecture. You can see the street highlighted in yellow in this article’s thumbnail.
Calle Crisologo is virtual tourist playground. Among the buildings along the street are hotels, pension houses, souvenir shops, and restaurants. Many of the houses have those typical wooden benches in front where anyone can sit. And in the evening, dining establishments set up tables on the street so people can eat their dinner al fresco. Kalesas, or horse-drawn carriages, are the only vehicles allowed on the street.
If it weren’t for the tourists taking pictures left and right, you’d think that you were transported back more than a hundred years to the Spanish colonial era. Well, it’s also a known fact that people from the movie and television industry regularly go to Vigan when they wish to film scenes depicting the Spanish times, like in the Cesar Montano–starrer, José Rizal.