Manheimer family moves to Cambodia travel blog

Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Luzon, Philippines:

Sept 27-29, 2014

Josh's entry

Vigan is a small Spanish town located near the western coast of the northern most island in the Philippines, Luzon. It was once a stronghold of the Spanish government who left a town much resembling Spain. We wander through the cobblestone streets, dodging horse drawn carriages and tricycles on our search for a hotel. We eventually settled at a gorgeous hotel that resembled an old fashioned Spanish villa with a few modern twists. We enjoyed the grandeur of the hotel but what we most liked about it was the flawless wifi.

During our stay in Vigan, we visited museums, walked the many cobblestone streets, and faced many disappointments of closed attractions. The museums we visited were all cool, some depicting Filipino history and another on the history of just one family. I learned about the lifestyle of upperclass Filipino families as well as how political power works here. The one family that we learned about at the museum was incredibly powerful with almost all members holding an influential political position such as mayor or congressman and so on. We saw other examples of this throughout the Philippines in other families. It's all about connections. Many attractions were closed though due to either construction, lack of tourists, or the recent typhoons that struck Vigan hard.

We expected Vigan to be a Filipino influenced Spanish town with charm and history but unfortunately didn't find what we hoped for. While we did enjoy the Spanish buildings and streets, it seemed to me like the inhabitants weren't taking advantage of the wonderful gift they had been given. They have an old Spanish town and they are letting it rot. Horse pee flooding the streets, humans peeing on the walls surrounding the center square, and old buildings crumbling away in neglect. All in all not our favorite town. Some charm yes, but mostly dirty and smelly.

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