Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
Located on the western coast of Luzon, the city of Vigan is the capital of the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Among the few Spanish colonial towns left in the country whose antique structures still stand, the entire city of Vigan was later considered a UNESCO World Heritage City after being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
See the fact file below for more information on the Vigan or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Vigan worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Initially a trading hub of merchants from Fujian Province, China, Vigan was referred to as Bee Gan, in a Southern Min language that translates to “beautiful shore,” by the Chinese settlers during Spanish colonization.
- Since Spanish men interchanged the letters V and B to point out the /b/ sound, they spelled the Hokkien Chinese words “Bee Gan” as Vigan, which is the name used by the province this day.
- Its Chinese roots can still be noticed from the different first-class Chinese creole families who originated from the area, the majority of whom had Hispanic family names. Others, such as the Syquia family, have kept their Chinese-derived surnames, though most, if not all, of the Christian Chinese creole households fully adopted the Hispanic surnames.
- The Biga’a plant, which once sprouted along the banks of the Mestizo River, was the generally known origin of the city’s name.
- Its full name during the Spanish era was Villa Fernandina, or “Town of Ferdinand,” to commemorate Prince Ferdinand.
- Vigan is an island that was originally disconnected from the mainland by three rivers – the great Abra River, the Mestizo River, and the Govantes River. It is a distinct place in the country since it has a number of historical cities that withstood the test of time since the 16th century.
- This city was a coastal trading post prior to the Spaniards’ arrival to the country. Chinese merchants sailed from the West Philippine Sea and reached Isla de Vigan or the Island of Vigan through the Mestizo River. These traders brought with them commodities from other Asian kingdoms in exchange for gold, beeswax, and other mountain products.
- In the book The Philippine Island, two notes from Governor-General Guido de Lavezaris to King Philip II of Spain mentioned: “It seemed best to send Captain Juan de Salcedo with 70 or 80 soldiers to explore the coast of Los Ilocanos on the shores of the river called Bigan.” This expedition, headed by Salcedo, reached north from Manila on May 20, 1572, and stepped foot in Vigan on June 13, 1572.
- From Vigan, Salcedo and his men went on to make peaceful arrangements with the provinces of Camarines, Albay, and Catanduanes, and in return, he was awarded the old province of Ilocos, which included Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, and some regions of Mountain Province, by the king of Spain as his hacienda and was appointed the Justicia Mayor de esta Provincia de Ylocos or the province mayor of Ilocos.
- In 1574, Salcedo went back to Vigan, along with his men and some Augustinian missionaries to establish and preach Christianity throughout the Ilocos region. During this period, the city had 19 barrios or districts.
- Between 1645 and 1660, Vigan was split into 21 cabezas de barrio (town mayors) as stated in the Book of Marriage.
- During the Philippine Revolution, revolutionary forces headed by Manuel Tinio, together with the rebels in Ilocos, ambushed and won against the Spanish armada, and captured Vigan during the siege.
- During the Philippine-American War, troops of Commander McCracken and Lt. Col. James Parker settled in the town in November 1899.
- When World War II commenced, Vigan was among the provinces invaded by the Japanese forces. In 1945, U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth ground armies, assisted by Ilocano resistance fighters, won against Japanese Imperial forces and redeemed Vigan.
- In 1999, UNESCO acknowledged the city as the best preserved example of Spanish colonial towns in the rest of Asia because of its accumulation of Philippine, Chinese, and Spanish architecture.
- On December 27, 2000, Republic Act No. 8988 “revalidated and recognized” the city’s status granted by the King of Spain in the mid 18th century.
- On December 4, 2014, Vigan was among the New 7 Wonders of Cities.
- Vigan is located 120 23’ 15’’ east longitude and 17 34’ 30’’ north latitude. It can be found in the upper part of the island of Luzon, marking it as the capital of the province of Ilocos Sur.
- It is 407 kilometers away from the city of Manila, 82 kilometers away from Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, and 138 kilometers away from San Fernando in La Union.
- Vigan is composed of 39 barangay; 30 of which are rural and occupy 2,366 hectares of land and the remaining nine are listed as poblacion barangays and add up a land total of 144.75 hectares.
- There are five types of soil in Vigan: (1) Bantay loam at the southern regions of Raois and is considered a good pastureland, (2) Umingan sandy, which is great for upland rice and vegetables, (3) San Manuel clay loam, which works best for bananas, cotton, and vegetables, (4) Bantog clay, which is the most important type of soil and the best clay source for crafting pots, jars, and all earthenware, and (5) beach sand, which is generally seen on the shores of all beaches in Vigan.
- When Vigan was established by Salcedo in 1572, he thought of adapting its pattern to the urban plan of the walled city of Intramuros.
- Plaza Salcedo is the central park in Vigan, where it is surrounded by administrative buildings known as the Casa Real or provincial administrative office and the municipio or the municipal hall.
- Aside from the religious buildings, such as the seminary of the archdiocese, the Arzobispado (Archbishop’s Palace), and St. Paul’s Cathedral, a church-run school, the Saint Paul College can also be found within the city.
- The Plaza Burgos, beside St. Paul’s Cathedral, adds another unique design to Vigan’s urban plan.
- Fires caused the primary changes to Vigan’s original urban landscape. During the American colonial period, the Casa Real was turned into a provincial capitol building after being burned down. The archdiocese seminary also turned into ashes in 1968. Some residential houses on Crisologo Street were also casualties of fire during the Japanese occupation.
- Famous tourist sites include the Syquia Mansion Museum, Plaza Salcedo’s Dancing Fountain, Padre Burgos House, Bantay Church Bell Tower, and Hotel Luna.
- Transport modes within Vigan are completely land-based. Public vehicles include jeepneys, tricycles, vans-for-hire, and calesas while buses, mini-buses, and other jeepneys offer transportation to and from the city.
- Color- and number-coded tricycles make up most of Vigan’s metro transport system.
A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
- It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among a number of Spanish colonial towns preserved in the Philippines, having old structures still intact.
- The city of Vigan is famous for its sett pavements and distinct architecture of the Spanish Philippines colonial era which combines native Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial Spanish architecture that still remains prevalent in the area, mainly the Bahay na Bato houses and an Earthquake Baroque church.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Vigan across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Vigan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the city of Vigan which is the capital of the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Among the few Spanish colonial towns left in the country whose antique structures still stand, the entire city of Vigan was later considered a UNESCO World Heritage City after being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Vigan Facts
- Welcome to Vigan
- Describing Vigan
- Culture Review
- Vigan Quiz
- Name That Place
- The More You Know
- Las Casas Filipinas
- Vigan Bucket List
- Festivals of Vigan
- My Empanada Recipe
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Vigan Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 3, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.