Saturday, February 14, 2015



Let us go to the dry land where hundreds of years ago, tobacco leaves broad as parasols hung from the dark rafters of wooden sheds riddled by sunlit rapiers.

Let us visit the town, your hand in mine, touring the passage of time, nodding inwardly toward our own thoughts as if they were pedestrians, as the sun gradually sheathes his sword and dusk heavily casts a shadowy blanket.

Let us enter the house of old stone and weathered wood, greeted at the doorstep by sharp complaints of aching hinges and grousing floorboards, as in the fronting street tiny whirlwinds of dust and gravel and bits of leaves explode like fluttering insect wings.

Let us ascend the gleaming stairs, shuffle off our shoes, one after the other, lean forward above a window overlooking a wide boulevard lined with cobblestones hot as bread and, shutting our eyes to slowly turning fans of radiant heat, inhale sumptuously, our nostrils stung by cooked air like ground pepper.

Let us make our way to the window of the house in the town in the dry land where hundreds of years disappearing, hardy fields flourished like shining children of the day watered by the tireless sun. 

Originally published in Eastlit (December 1, 2014)

Also published in Vigan: the Telenovela (February 8, 2015)

Tampuhan (1895) by Juan Luna


  1. Vigan: UNESCO World Heritage Site:

    Justification for Inscription

    Criterion (ii): Vigan represents a unique fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.

    Criterion (iv): Vigan is an exceptionally intact and well preserved example of a European trading town in East and South-East Asia.



  2. Vigan Declared “Wonder City”
    By Ariel Paolo Tejada
    Philippine Star
    Saturday, May 9, 2015

    Vigan City – The status of Vigan City as one of the new seven wonder cities of the world was formalized with a grand inauguration on Thursday night, 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.”



  3. Vigan: the Telenovela link expired, November 17, 2015:

    New link: