Vigan’s pride, St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral aka Vigan Cathedral is a fine example of an excellently managed heritage structure, with the Catholic community the equivalent of the Chinese guardian lions (foo dogs) protecting the front doors.
Strengthened with buttresses to be able to withstand earthquakes, the ornate Baroque architecture harmoniously blending with pseudo-Romanesque, neo-Gothic and Chinese influences, shaping one unique composition, the cathedral is a memorial of the town’s lofty past during the colonial era, relevantly because Villa Fernandina de Vigan has been the seat of the Nueva Segovia Diocese since 1758, illustrating the enormity of Roman Catholicism in the old town.
– Chinese craftsmanship. Many of the illustrious families in Vigan have Chinese or Filipinized Chinese sounding names. On a sidenote, Chinese pirates led by Fukienese Lin Feng aka Limahong were believed to have reached Vigan in 1576. The son of Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi aka El Adelantado, the first governador general of the Spanish East Indies (known today as the Philippines) is Vigan founder Juan de Salcedo. It was he who vanquished Limahong from Philippine history with his capture and subsequent astounding escape back to China.
– Noticed the foo dogs atop the doors? The Sword of the Spirit at the top represents Saint Paul’s martyrdom in Rome (where he was beheaded by Caesar).
– One of the buttresses on the sides of the church, an element of earthquake Baroque architecture.
Fifteen meters afar from the cathedral is the octagonal belltower with a bronze weathercock on the top.
Grabbed some sinful cakes at the nearby Dulcelise Dessert Bar overlooking the world-famous Calle Crisologo.
Dulcelise’s banoffee pie was creamy, airy (but not like commercialized whipping cream), without that cloying, heavy after feeling. The crust was wonderful, I probably could have easily polished off another one. Tried their Thai iced tea. Imo, it would have been finer if it were served in a tall glass with lots of shaved ice. I dislike the feel of warm liquid, with ice cubes hitting parts of the tongue:(
Oh, the sans rival, buttery, nutty, chewy — perfectly what to bring home to Laoag! Such a fine string of eat, pray, love moments on a Sunday.
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