The Festivals of the Historic City of Vigan

By Chan, Richel Royce T. | Researchers World, July 2019 | Go to article overview

The Festivals of the Historic City of Vigan


Chan, Richel Royce T., Researchers World


INTRODUCTION:

Entrenched within the very core of culture and tradition, fiestas are so loved by the Filipino people. Throughout the entire archipelago, fiestas abound in correlation with the medieval tradition of exalting and venerating a barangay, town, city or province's patron saint. Thanksgiving ceremonies are wholeheartedly offered by the people during these momentous occasions to their respective patron saint whose guidance and protection from both human and natural calamities never ceased during the previous year. Hence, town or city festivities are predominantly religious in nature for the past centuries but has now revolutionized into a more civic commemoration.

A festival is a series of performances of music, plays, films, and movies usually organized in the same place once a year, a series of public events connected with a particular activity or idea (Irshad, 2011) and it is viewed as a means of sharing the history, identity and values of the place and people to others and the younger generations (Luna, 2015) and the most exciting and fastest growing industry related to leisure, business and tourism. (Calopez, et.al 2011).

The development of festivals increases cultural tourism and provides tourist destinations with economic and cultural benefit and offer tourists a glimpses of the uniqueness and diverse cultural experience (Magpantay, et.al, 2014).

Festivals and other events that attract visitors (Light, 1996) compensate for the seasonality of ordinary tourism (Higham & Hinch, 2002), promote a city's image (Roche, 1994), and contribute to the development and sustainability of the urban economy (Bramwell, 1997). Therefore, it is in the best interest of those public, private, and non-profit organizations that wish to promote the image and "brand" of their city to support special events (Gursoy et al., 2004; Lee, Lee & Wicks, 2004).

There are many festivals celebrated throughout the world and the Philippines is no exception. Often, a province, town, or municipality celebrates a festival in the Philippines.

The Heritage City of Vigan as capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur celebrates four major festivals each year: The Vigan City fiesta on January 25, the Viva Vigan Binatbatan Festival of the Arts which is celebrated on the first week of May, the celebration of the World Heritage Cities Solidarity Cultural Festival held every September, and the Raniag Vigan Twilight Festival on the last week of October.

The uniqueness of the historic City of Vigan could be traced from the significant past. The different events that took place truly changed Vigan's history and the Bigueños destiny. As former City Mayor Eva Medina said "the richness of the legacy and the wealth of our culture that our forefathers left shall be enjoyed and valued by this generation and those yet to come." Whatever treasures that Vigan has today and will have in the future, it is all because of its unique and rich roots. Filipinos from the different owners of the land already consider these very festive cultural activities apart and a "must-see" events.

The festivals in Vigan has become one of the city's tourist drawers, along with its century old houses and buildings, historical monuments, churches, landmarks, and beaches. Through the undeniable impact of the local products, the city's tourism industry and economy is continuing to attract more tourists and even investors.

For a lucid view and explanation of this major annual events in Vigan City, the researcher would like to look in to its origin, development, and details of the four prestigious festivals.

Being able to trace the festivals in Vigan City from its origin to its full features will give the practitioners and the academicians, tourists, the Ilocanos and the Bigueños in particular, and future researchers a complete and compact information about the renowned festivals. Thus, this will also create the unique historic identity and authenticity of the majestic culture and traditions of the Bigueños. …

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