Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias


Tolentino
Horse tows Kalesa in front of an antique shop.
Kalesa of the night
Kalesa (charrette) descends one of the historic streets in the center of Vigan at dusk.
kalesa vigan
Detail of a renovated carriage used in a Catholic wedding held in the cathedral of São Paulo
Kalesas Station
Grandmother and granddaughter pass by a long string of Kalesas (Hispanic-influenced carriages) who serve Vigan.
Villa Angela
Interior of Villa Angela, one of Vigan's many stately mansions.
photographic hysteria
Guests at a wedding at the Cathedral of São Paulo photograph the bride and groom going abroad.
Cathedral to double
St. Paul's Cathedral mirrored in an artificial lake in front.
Angel
Kalesa's driver patiently waits for new customers on yet another scorching Vigan afternoon.
dizzying speed
Rickshaw driver speeds around Vigan.
candles of faith
Believers place candles in St. Paul's Cathedral in Vigan.
Old Vigan
Aged facades of the historic center of Vigan.
at the feet of faith
Faithful Catholic touches the base of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Curiosity
Resident watches life from the window of an old house in Vigan
Lechon
Little girl contemplates a roast suckling pig during a birthday party.
VGN 0581
License plate for a taxi-rickshaw in the city.
Quirinus Elpidium
Historical poster by Elpidio Quirino, the 6th; President of the Philippines.
shadow concert
Resident repairs his motorcycle in a street in the historic center of Vigan.
The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina

It's Sunday.

We are in Luzon, a Catholic stronghold in the Philippines.

As ten in the morning approaches, the heat of the dry season takes over the city. It leaves her in a kind of tropical lethargy.

The coaches slumber in their kalese, a kind of carriages inherited from the Spaniards, parked in a row along the side façade of the Cathedral of São Paulo.

Kalesas Station, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Grandmother and granddaughter pass by a long string of Kalesas (Hispanic-influenced carriages) who serve Vigan.

After all, together, the weights of the trip and the tip, reveal financial relief that justifies the wait.

The Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul: the Sacred Catholic Temple Vigan

Some marriages are integrated in the homily. We enter the nave of the church in the middle of one of the ceremonies. Hundreds of believers, moved by her christian faith and a few curious outsiders.

St. Paul's Cathedral, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

St. Paul's Cathedral mirrored in an artificial lake in front.

A sign written in red asks temple attendees to dress appropriately for the celebrations. Unaware of the insult, a foreigner right next to her confronts her, dressed in sports shorts and a bright blue shirt with colorful fish drawn in a childish line.

Candles of Faith, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Believers place candles in St. Paul's Cathedral in Vigan.

The faithful burn candles and more candles and whisper the corresponding prayers

Until the last marriage is consummated. In classic good manner, the couple is attacked by rice, petals and by the flashes of a battalion of semi-professional and casual photographers.

Photographic hysteria, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Guests at a wedding at the Cathedral of São Paulo photograph the bride and groom going abroad.

We are told that some of the wealthiest families in Vigan are represented there, something which, given the sumptuousness of the suits and dresses, which are certainly in order for you, we are inclined to believe.

The couple takes refuge in a white limousine. In its wake, the people abandon the protection of the temple on foot or by kalesa and put an end to the anxiety of the more fortunate coachmen.

We join this general stampede and head towards Syquia Mansion, one of the historic homes flags of the city and the Philippines.

Tomas Quirino and the Syquia Mansion. Legacies of the History of Vigan and the Philippines

The servant opens the gate and announces us. Tomas Quirino gets us something sweaty despite his fresh clothes to bring home.

Elpidium Quirino, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Historical poster by Elpidio Quirino, the 6th; President of the Philippines.

We are facing one of the sons of the sixth Philippine president. Quirinus Elpidium he led the Philippines in two terms, from 1948 to the end of 1953. He was credited with a remarkable post-war logistical and economic reconstruction, achieved with substantial support from the United States.

But they were also pointed out to the gaps in the basic social problems that had never been resolved and the widespread corruption of the administration, which also insisted on angering the population with its princely spending abroad.

Tomas was the only male descendant of Elpidio to survive the hardships of World War II. His mother Alicia Syquia and three of the brothers were killed in 2 as they fled their home during the terrible battle for Manila.

The host hides neither his resentment nor his sexual orientation. During a tour of the mansion, he shows us photographs and belongings of his father and, between expressions and effeminate gestures, tells us about the Sino-Hispanic origins of the family.

Facades, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Aged facades of the historic center of Vigan.

Recognition of the Spanish colony and resentment towards the Japanese

He praises both peoples and reproaches the Japanese: “the Quirinos were torn apart by them. My grandmother succumbed to a real massacre, but at a time when we took thousands of Japanese prisoners, my father and other leaders were able to forgive and sent them back to Japan.

Compassion is a very characteristic of Christians, but not all peoples know it. The Spaniards taught it to the Filipinos”.

Santa Fe, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Faithful Catholic touches the base of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

We left the Syquia mansion. We continued to explore the mestizo district that the Filipinos called Kasanglayan (where the Chinese live).

World War II bombs saved an impressive concentration of ancestral and colonial houses there. Japanese troops had just fled the city. This stampede caused the American bombers to abort their mission at the last minute. Vigan's historic sumptuousness was thus spared.

Historic center, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Resident repairs his motorcycle in a street in the historic center of Vigan.

Kasanglayan Neighborhood, Featured From The Incredible Colonial Vigan

Some houses were built by merchants from Fujian Province who settled in Vigan, married natives, and by the XNUMXth century became the city's elite.

Despite being, in a generic way, considered Spanish, the architecture de Kasanglayan actually consists of a combination of Mexican and Chinese styles to which Filipino developments such as sliding shell windows have been added.

At the window, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Resident watches life from the window of an old house in Vigan

In the late afternoon, we walk through what is considered the main street of Kasanglayan, Mena Crisólogo Street. This is what dozens of kalesas do in search of new passengers.

There are plenty of antique shops, bookshops and other home businesses run by small local clans with oriental features but Castilian and even Basque names and surnames, like those of the recently inscribed in chalk on the board of services we discovered at the funeral home Enrique Baquiran: Guzman, Pascual, Zamora, Urbano, Jimenez.

Kalesa-Vigan-Asia-Hispanica-Philippines

Horse tows Kalesa in front of an antique shop.

They are all a legacy of the long Hispanic colonization of the Philippines. That of Luzon, the largest island in this island nation, and that of Vigan, in particular.

Vigan and the Philippines' Colonial Past: the Hispanic and the Shortest American Good

That of Vigan was inaugurated when, in 1572, the conqueror Juan de Salcedo seized the city, then a convenient trading post on the Silk Road that linked Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

It ended on July 12, 1898, the date of the proclamation of the Philippines' independence but also the time when the United States began to replace the Spanish as its colonial power.

The Americans stayed until 1935. They returned ten years later to drive out the Japanese invaders. During this period, there were numerous cultural influences that passed to the Filipinos. We recognize them in the ease with which they speak English and in their passion for basketball.

Tricycle conduit, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Rickshaw driver speeds around Vigan.

The connection between the two nations and the low cost of living are the main reasons why so many Hollywood filmmakers chose and choose the Philippines to film their works, from “Apocalypse Now" to "born on the 4th of July".

Vigan's Unlikely Link to Mexico, in “Born on the 4th of July”

Unexpectedly, this latest success was linked to Vigan forever. At the time of shooting, relations between the US and the Vietnam they remained problematic. For that reason, Oliver Stone filmed the Vietnam War scenes in the jungle areas of the Philippines.

The film also includes excerpts from the Mexico. The travel of the entire team involved in the shooting to that country or to Europe would be too costly.

Instead, Stone moved to Vigan where the architectural heritage shared the traits the Spaniards adapted to their Mexican villages.

Villa Angela, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Interior of Villa Angela, one of Vigan's many stately mansions.

Villa Angela is another such heritage. He built it in 1870, Agapito B. Florendo um governor that concentrated total administrative and judicial powers. It would later be purchased by the prominent Verzosa family who named it in honor of matriarch Angela.

When we visit it, we come across features similar to those of the Syquia Mansion: grandiose rooms built on massive wooden planks, decorated with XNUMXth century furniture and ornaments that give it a strong sense of living.

Kalesa nocturna, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

Kalesa (charrette) descends one of the historic streets in the center of Vigan at dusk.

The housekeeper proudly shows us her place of work. When we arrive at the room del señor, he calls our attention to a particular photograph. “As you can see, Tom Cruise stayed with us…”.

The photo shows the protagonist of “born on the 4th of July” in his early career, with the current owner of the mansion. As we are told, Willem Dafoe was also privileged to inhabit it.

And there was filmed part of “Jose Rizal”, the cinematographic tribute to the main Filipino patriot and independenceist, executed by the Spaniards 26 years after Villa Angela was completed.

Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines

License plate for a taxi-rickshaw in the city.

Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.
Coron, Busuanga, Philippines

The Secret but Sunken Japanese Armada

In World War II, a Japanese fleet failed to hide off Busuanga and was sunk by US planes. Today, its underwater wreckage attract thousands of divers.
Bohol, Philippines

Other-wordly Philippines

The Philippine archipelago spans 300.000 km² of the Pacific Ocean. Part of the Visayas sub-archipelago, Bohol is home to small alien-looking primates and the extraterrestrial hills of the Chocolate Hills.
Batad, Philippines

The Terraces that Sustain the Philippines

Over 2000 years ago, inspired by their rice god, the Ifugao people tore apart the slopes of Luzon. The cereal that the indigenous people grow there still nourishes a significant part of the country.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal,

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Adventure
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Cities
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Meal
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Nahuatl celebration
Culture

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Traveling
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Pisang, Nepal,

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Ngawal when the last snow faded.
Conversation between photocopies, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland
Ethnic
Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

The Little-Big Senglea II
History
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil, beach
Islands
Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil

The Sweetened Paraná of ​​Ilha do Mel

Located at the entrance to the vast Bay of Paranaguá, Ilha do Mel is praised for its nature reserve and for the best beaches in the Brazilian state of Paraná. In one of them, a fortress built by D. José I resists time and tides.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Literature
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Nature
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Cumbre Vieja, La Palma, Eruption, Tsunami, A Televisioned Apocalypse
Natural Parks
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Cathedral of Santa Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
UNESCO World Heritage
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Characters
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific, coral reef
Beaches
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Religion
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Erika Mother
Society
Philippines

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Wildlife
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
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