The City of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur has been awarded and formally inaugurated as among the “New7Wonders Cities of the World.” Making the Philippines one of three countries with more than one wonder.
Vigan is considered by the New7Wonders Foundation as the “best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia.”
The inauguration, which was attended by top officials including Vice President Jejomar Binay and New7Wonders founder-president Bernard Weber, was held at the grounds of St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral.
Binay urged the people of Vigan to remain dedicated to preserving their culture and share their best practices to other local governments.
“Billions of dollars have been spent in cultural preservation and restoration. These costs would not have been incurred if peoples – past and present – had been mindful of their actions, if they had had more respect for their own and other peoples’ cultural legacies and for our own earth,” said Binay.
Vigan joined other known cities worldwide namely Beirut in Lebanon, Doha in Qatar, Durban in South Africa, Havana in Cuba, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and La Paz in Bolivia that “best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization,” according to New7Wonders.
The seven wonder cities bested the initial 1, 200 nominees-cities from 220 countries, which were later reduced to 77 nominees and down to 28 nominees.
One of six Unesco World Heritage sites in the Philippines, Vigan, is dubbed as the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia.
Vigan is a preserved European trading town established when the Philippines became a colony of Spain. Its architecture represents the blending of the design and construction from the cultures of the Philippines, China and that of colonial Europe. Its colonial houses and structures remain intact including its famed cobblestone streets.
Vigan is a world heritage site inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Heritage List of Sites and Monuments. It has been recognized for its Best Practice in World Heritage Site Management.