The town center where everyone came to play, meet, and watch public executions.
Plaza’s are traditional public squares used for a diverse events, town meetings, fiestas, Sporting events and back in the day, your government sanctioned public executions. Plaza Burgos and Plaza Salcedo are adjacent to each other and were named after Father Jose Burgos a town martyr and Juan de Salcedo who is historically known as the founder of the town. As in most master plans of small towns, each plaza has it’s mini playground for the tots. Plaza Burgos seemed more alive with loads of food stalls selling local delicacies such as the famed empanada or meatpie. No Mrs. Lovett here though , the Vigan empanada has a crunchy outer shell and inside are the freshest papayas, an egg yolk and the tastiest bits of meat this side of the north. I also spied on a few pipes used by local skaters who frequent the park on weekends.
On the other hand, Plaza Salcedo offers a more refreshing take on the Plaza with its fountains and antique finished wooden benches made by highly skilled craftsmen in the region. There’s also a miniature map of world heritage sites around the country. The town itself is one big UNESCO Heritage site by the way for those who are wondering. The Plaza is flanked by churches, municipal halls, museums and a mini-mall designed to mimic the dominant local architecture. This was also where local heroine Gabriela Silang who took on the mantle of rebel leader after her husband was executed. She is often referred to as the single most powerful symbol of female empowerment in the country. You’ll be able to find the Palacio de Arzobispado which the oldest Archbishop residence in the Philippines and home to quite a collection of religious artifacts. All in all there are always plenty of things to do in Vigan’s Plaza. Parked around the plazas are the colorful Calesa and Karwahe or horse drawn carriages As well as their modern counter-part the pimped out tricycle which makes effective use of the highly skilled Ilocano blacksmith.