The province of Ilocos Sur is famous for its historical landmarks and scenic spots that attract foreign and local tourists. But since the selection of Vigan City as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World, this former Ciudad Fernandina is now the center of attraction because of its “Balay Kastila” or Castillan Homes.
Tourism Assistant Secretary Daniel Angelo Mercado has commended the Ilocanos for their unity, solidarity and teamwork in the preservation and restoration of Vigan which was cited among the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
The DoT official as keynote speaker during the Street Food Festival in the Heritage City in connection with the Tourism Week celebration admired the Ilocanos for preserving such historical landmarks and their identity as a race.
With the support of the provincial government headed by Gov. Ryan Luis Singson and the city government of Vigan under the stewardship of first-timer Mayor Juan Carlo Medina, tourism, cultural programs and projects are prioritized which are hoped to boost the economy of the province and can stir local employment.
Mercado encouraged all Filipinos not only the Ilocanos to promote the Heritage City of Vigan for its uniqueness in history and preserve it for future generations.
The Heritage Village and the newly erected Vigan Conservation Complex will bring back the hands of time during the Spanish era as the DOT official assured the support of the agency in its tourism campaign to promote the city.
The provincial board, through board member Efren Rafanan, chairmain of the Committee on Living Treasures, also filed a resolution to preserve the “abel” or loam weaving, furniture and jar industries and other traditional industries in the province as he commended the old “agab-abel”, “agpanpanday” for their ingenuity and artistry.
Vice Gov. Jeremieas Singson also reported that the provincial government will also revive the 6 p.m. Angelus ritual of the Ilocanos and the “pagmamano” and wearing of the belo o “dallungdong” in church to preserve the Ilocano traditions.
Further, according to Vigan City Vice Mayor Lourdes Baquiran, more educational tours are being scheduled from various local government units to visit the city on a weekly basis or even daily during festivals to study the best practices of the city in the heritage preservation and management.
But the greatest assets of the province and the Heritage City of Vigan are its people, their unity, and solidarity in preserving and promoting its cultural heritage.
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