(Continued from the previous stop – Crisologo Museum)
After our visit to Crisologo Museum, we decided to take a walk and familiarize ourselves with the vicinity and plan out the next day’s tour. En route to St. Paul Cathedral, we stopped by Plaza Maestro for ice cream and chika. It’s a nice shopping center that seems popular with the young crowd; we saw many students hanging out with friends after school. There’s this one shop that I really, really love: a nice store selling loads of Hello Kitty items! Hello Kitty in Vigan. I got a Nintendo DS pouch — looks authentic, but a closer look at the box says it’s ‘japeyk’.
Constructed originally of wood and thatch, Vigan Cathedral (also known as St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedra)ll was built in 1574. It is believed that conquistador Juan de Salcedo of Spain personally supervised the construction. In the 17th century this church was hit by 2 earthquakes, so it was rebuilt in the ‘earthquake baroque’ style in the 1800s. (The Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte is a famous “earthquake baroque” church) *
* Earthquake Baroque is a style of Baroque architecture found in places, such at the Philippines and Guatemala, which suffered earthquakes during the 17th century and 18th century and where large public buildings, such as churches were rebuilt in a Baroque style. Wikipedia
The church was designated a cathedral in 1758, when the seat of the diocese of Nueva Segovia was transferred from Lal-lo, Cagayan to Vigan.
The 25-meter bell tower stands 15 meters to the side of the church, in Plaza Burgos (named after GOMBURZA priest, Father Jose Burgos). It was made so that when one structure falls down in an earthquake, the other one might still be standing. It is said that the rooster at the top of the tower symbolizes St. Peter (ang manok ni San Pedro? ) In front of the church is the spacious Plaza Salcedo, named after the conquistador. Gabriela Silang was publicly hanged in this very square in 1763.
We were supposed to attend Sunday mass here, but the service was entirely in Ilocano. >_< We went back to the hotel and tuned in to the TV mass instead.
The calesa stops next at: Calle Mena Crisologo. Hanggang sa muli, mga bata. Paalam!