City of Vigan
Calle Crisologo
Calle Crisologo
Official seal of Vigan
Viva Vigan!
Vigan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°34′29″N 120°23′13″E / 17°34′29″N 120°23′13″E / 17.57472; 120.38694
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameHistoric City of Vigan
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)
Vigan, Heritage City of the Philippines.jpg

Vigan (Ilokano: Siudad ti Vigan; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Vigan; Local pronunciation: [ˈbigän]), officially the City of Vigan, is a 4th class component city and capital of the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 53,879 people.[3]

Located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few towns left in the Philippines whose old structures have mostly remained intact, and it is well known for its sett pavements and a unique architecture of the Philippine colonial era which fuses Native Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial Spanish architecture that is still abundant in the area, mainly the Bahay na Bato houses and an Earthquake Baroque church. Former Philippine president Elpidio Quirino, the sixth President of the Philippines, was born in Vigan, at the former location of the Provincial Jail (his father was a warden); he resided in the Syquia Mansion. The entire city of Vigan was later inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage City after being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC).

In May 2015, Vigan City was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur and La Paz.[4] New7Wonders Foundation president and founding member Bernard Weber led a ceremony held at St. Paul Cathedral where he handed a bronze plaque to Vigan Mayor Eva Grace Singson-Medina, signifying the heritage city’s election as one of the world’s wonder cities.[5]


The area of Vigan was originally a settlement of traders coming from the Fujian Province, China. At the time of Spanish colonisation, the Chinese settlers, whose language was Southern Min (Min Nan, often referred to as "Hokkien" by most Filipinos), referred to the area as Bee Gan (Chinese: 美岸; pinyin: měi'àn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bí-gān), which means "Beautiful Shore." Since the Spanish conquistadors interchanged V and the B to refer to the /b/ sound, they spelled the Hokkien Chinese name "Bee Gan" as Vigan, which is the name used to this day.

Vigan's Chinese heritage is still evident from the numerous elite Chinese creole families who come from the area, many of whom adopted Hispanic family names. Others, such as the Syquia family, have retained Chinese-derived surnames, though most, if not all, of the Christian Chinese creole families fully Hispanicised themselves culturally.

The most commonly known source of the city's name is from the Biga'a plant, which once grew abundantly along the banks of the Mestizo River, from which captain Juan de Salcedo derived the city's name (after a misunderstanding with the locals, thinking he was asking the name of the plants).

Other names

The city's full name at the time of its Spanish foundation was Villa Fernandina, or "Town of Ferdinand", in honor of Prince Ferdinand, the firstborn son of King Philip II of Spain. As the city grew, and the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia transferred to Vigan, it was later renamed Ciudad Fernandina de Vigan ("Ferdinand's City of Vigan/Fernandine City of Vigan").

Other Languages
العربية: فيغان
asturianu: Vigan
Bân-lâm-gú: Vigan
Bikol Central: Vigan
català: Vigan
Cebuano: Vigan
čeština: Vigan
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Vigan
Deutsch: Vigan City
Ελληνικά: Μπίγαν
español: Vigan
euskara: Vigan
हिन्दी: विगान
hrvatski: Vigan
Ilokano: Vigan
Bahasa Indonesia: Kota Vigan
Kapampangan: Vigan Lakanbalen
ქართული: ვიგანი
Кыргызча: Виган шаары
മലയാളം: വിഗൻ
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဗီဂန်မြို့
Nederlands: Vigan
नेपाली: भिगन
日本語: ビガン
norsk: Vigan City
Pangasinan: Vigan
русский: Виган
slovenčina: Vigan
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vigan
suomi: Vigan
svenska: Vigan
Tagalog: Vigan
ไทย: บีกัน
Türkçe: Vigan
اردو: ویگان
Tiếng Việt: Vigan
Winaray: Vigan
中文: 美岸