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Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur’s towns boasts of old houses, churches, and watchtowers, notably in Sta. Lucia, Candon, Narvacan, Bantay, San Vicente, Magsingal and Sinait. The Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, or Saint Augustine Parish Church is of neo-gothic design mixed with pseudo-Romanesque elements. The hilltop Sta. Maria Church, built in 1769, is a fortress-like structure with a wide staircase, unusual bridge and unique bell tower that also belongs to the UNESCO List. At Tagudin, the province’s first town from Manila, is a churchyard which houses the first sundial built in the Philippines during the early 1800s.

Calle Crisologo has numerous well preserved Spanish-era houses Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur, is the best- preserved Spanish-era community in the Philippines. With nearly 200 colonial structures, it now belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Archbishop’s Palace along Crisologo Street has architecturally rich houses and arts) crafts and antique shops. The Viva Vigan festival held every first week of May is a colorful spectacle of exhibits, trade fairs, shows and parades meant to celebrate the city’s legacy as a world treasure.

Notable structures include the Syquia Mansion (belonging to President Elpidio Quirino), Crisologo Museum, The Burgos Museum was the birthplace of Fr. Jose Burgos, one of the three martyred priests during Spanish colonial periodBurgos Museum (once the home of martyr priest Jose Burgos), and the Quema House. Opposite the Cathedral of St. Paul is the Archbishop’s Palace with its ecclesiastical museum of priceless colonial art. Vigan’s charm includes its pagburnayan (jar making) factories, abel (native weave) makers, and the calesas plying the narrow streets. At Plaza Burgos are stalls selling native delicacies such as empanadas, bibingka and kalamay.

Sandy beaches and coves can be found at Teppeng Cove in Sinait, Santiago Cove in Santiago, and Paraiso Cove in Narvacan. Located along an ancient highway laden with brick markers, Santa has rocky cliffs and promontories descending into the sea. In Gregorio del Pilar town is the spectacular mountain scenery of Tirad Pass, where American forces killed the revolutionary boy general Gregorio del Pilar.

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