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Saturday, September 28

Vigan Cathedral: Another Church Story

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Inside the Cathedral of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

And so a few steps from Plaza Salcedo is one of the older churches in Ilocos Region—the Vigan Cathedral (St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral). I eagerly checked the church out because we did not have so much time to explore the city. Besides, I wasn’t able to recall already what it was like when I was still young. I once visited this church more than 10 years ago, and another visit about six years ago and all I remember was, it was just a part of the itinerary. Missing the church is a big mistake as it is in the center of the heritage city.

The Vigan-Laoag-Pagudpud Ilocos Triple Combo One-Day Panalo Trip!

Altar inside Vigan Cathedral
I tasted the last of my adobo breakfast while the sunshine is moderately touching my skin. The next thing to visit for this one-day Ilocos trip is the cathedral. Vigan Cathedral is located at the back of Plaza Salcedo, you will never get wrong with it if you see the church where there are several kalesa waiting adjacent to it.

The church was built in 1641 and it became a cathedral when the diocese of Nueva Segovia was transferred from Cagayan to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. According to a historical account framed on one of its columns, the two side altars in the cathedral are dedicated to Apo Nazareno on the north side and to Apo Birhen del Rosario on the south side. Two cofradias existed in Vigan around 1748 to promote the respective religious devotions so popular among the people. The chapel was made of wood and thatch. In 1619 and 1627, the church was damaged by earthquake and in 1739, by fire.
Vigan Cathedral

Facade of Vigan Cathedral, Ilocos Sur

I find the architecture of the church as simple and beautiful. The bell tower beside it is good subject for photo. I went inside and bit amazed with the concaves and curves of the ceiling, making up a good geometric design. It was white inside unlike the pink Baguio Cathedral or the old-ish church of Bolinao. I don’t know if Cebu Cathedral is homogenous with Vigan Cathedral, but the former is grander than the latter. I also noticed epitaphs of dead ancestors of the city dating the death date back to 1900s. it was indeed old…older than the Baguio Cathedral I used to see.

A quick stop at the church while praying for something and thanking for your bounty blessings is already enough. There are more to see in the City of Vigan. When I went in this city for the first time, I thought all the other old structures near it are ancient, historical and scary (you know, all old stuff have these creepy ambiance haha). However, the old building near it or beside Plaza Salcedo was actually a shopping center.

The last time I went to Vigan, I didn’t try the popular “kalesa ride”. I thought it was just a plain horse-driven carriage thing, but I was wrong. There is this feeling that I was brought to a place several hundreds of years back. And so after Vigan Cathedral, we went for a ride to the past. A ride I wish to do again the next time I’ll visit Ilocos.

Bell tower of Vigan Cathedral

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