Vigan Products

Filipinos are urged to be more active in the voting process and campaign to make Vigan City one of the New7 Wonder Cities of the World. Vigan City, the only world’s heritage city in the Philippines and the only representative of the country in the search for the New7 Wonder Cities of the World, has made it to the top remaining 21 finalists. Along the way as we promote Vigan, here are the list of Vigan’s most proud products.
It is a round basket usually carried on the head. It is made of rattan or “uway”woven in a zigzag design. It is used in carrying fruits and vegetables harvests. It is a practice for Bigueños to put their first harvest of the year in a “labba” as they believe that the next harvest would be more bountiful.
“Tampong” is the easiest to pack belongings by tying diagonal ends of the abel blanket to form a sack. In the olden times, it was used by eloping sweethearts (“tanan”) or when transferring to another house.
Weaving requires artistry and patience. It is an industry for housewiveswhile doing house chores. In earlier days, households in the weaving barrios of Vigan,had a “Tilar” (loom) which became a symbol of the industrious character of Ilocano women.
Abel cloth is a traditional woven product known for its durablity and beauty. Its patterns and colors are derived from the natural environment of the Ilocos region.During the Colonial Period, abelwas used as sailcloth for ships and boats.
Binakol is a weave synonymous to Vigan. It is characterized by interlocked geometric patterns that result in an optical illusion design that represent the waves of the sea.It is no wonder that the binakol is woven by women in the coastal barangays of Vigan.They are commonly sewn into blankets, table cloths and runners. The whirlwind pattern is also believed to drive away evil spirits because of the psychedelicpatterns.
Abel Iloko
This earthenware is called burnay. The industry dates back to pre-Colonial times when the Chinese came to settle in Vigan. They introduced the skill of making the earthenware using the clay found in the barangays nearby.Burnay were originally used to storegrains, vinegar, wine and bagoong. In Vigan, the clay is kneaded by a carabao (water buffalo) before it goes to the potter’s wheel, shaped into jars and fired at controlled temperatures in a wood-fired Dragon kiln. These wonderful pieces of art combine the elements of earth, wind, fire and water that only the expert potter can create.
The ViganHomeowners Preservation Manual is a collaboration between the City Government of Vigan, The University Of Northern Philippines and the UNESCO Bangkok Office. It is a useful tool for students, architects and the ancestral homeowners themselves. Contained in the book are elements of the Vigan House, the construction methods and the processes in its restoration. Also included are vignettes on vigan such as religious architecture, fiestas and festivals, molding and weaving a heritage and comida from the kusina.
Damili is the Ilocano term for molding. This terra-cotta or red-clay craft is one of the traditional industries that Vigan is known for. It has been a source of income for households in six western barangays of Vigan since the 19th century. Damili-makers use the ‘Bantog’ clay in making their terracotta products that include drinking water receptacles, cooking pots, pans, charcoal stove, toy pots & pans, garden sets and the famous Vigan tiles. Damili-making is a cottage industry that entails the involvement of family members in gathering the materials, molding, drying, firing, storing and selling of the terracotta creations.
Viganfurnituresare found in almost all souvenir shops in the historic district.Viganfurnitures come in regular and miniature sizes. Theyare recognized as products of skillful artistry and creativity. Some are reproduction of antique furnitures. This traditional industry has remained as source of livelihood for ilocanos in Vigan and the neighboring municipalities.
Vigan Furniture
A replica of the Vigan house used as paper weight has become a popular souvenir and giveaway. It is produced in the Vigan Productivity Center and is made from porcelain.
House Paper Weight
The Longganisa or local sausage is the one-town-one-product of Vigan. Itisa fusion of Western and Eastern influences dating back from the Colonial Period. It has become an integral fraction of the unique Vigan cultural heritage.
It is distinct from other Philippine sausages because of its use of the local sugar cane vinegar and the Ilocosgrown garlic.
To cook: 1. Cut string in between sausages. 2. Pierce sausage with fork or toothpick. 3. Heat longganisa in a pan with a small amount of water, when water evaporates, stir fry the longganisa and it will cook on its own fat.
ViganBagnet is the Ilocano version of lechonkawali. Large chunks of pork belly or pork sides are boiled and deep fried for several times until crispy. It is best served with tomatoes, onions and bagoong (local Anchovy). Ilocanos also enjoy this with Pinakbet and Mongo beans. It can last for 2 months when kept in the freezer.
Bagnet stems from the rich history of Ilocos. Back in the olden days, when a pig was slaughtered all the parts must be consumed to minimize wastage. However when there are uncooked parts left, there were no freezers or refs back then to preserve the meat. The Ilocanos then came up with the idea called “Bagnetten” which means to preserve the meat. They would boil the unused part of the pig and then fry it in a Silyasi. (A huge wok) This would preserve the meat up to 10 days.
The ViganTsokolate (Hot Chocolate) is best served during breakfast. It is made from cocoa and locally known as tableya. It is pressed into a round half-inch thick piece and usually packed in four pieces. To prepare this hearty breakfast beverage: place 4 chocolate pieces into saucepan. Pour two cups of water and bring to a boil.Reduce heat and simmer until chocolate dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour milk and continue simmering until smooth for about 2 minutes. Add sugar to taste. Serves two.
ViganMikilunggay is a product of the city’s Barangay Nutrition Scholars. Itis the main ingredient of a noodle soup dish called mike. It isone of the popular streetfoodinVigan. This noodle soup dish used to be known as “mikilualo” as it was usually served in family occasions when remembering their dearly departed relatives. Itis one of the food attractionstogether with the famous Viganempanada and okoy found at the stalls near the Plaza Burgos.
To cook:In a saucepan, sauté garlic and onions; add shredded chickenand stir; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add fish sauce (patis). Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes then addAnato(achuete)mixture.Add water or broth until mixture boils. Add the Viganmikilunggay noodlesand simmer until soft and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with “kutchay” and serve.
Royal Bibingka is one of the most famous “pasarabo” (souvenir) from Vigan. This rice cake is made of glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, milk, egg, sugar and cheese. It is baked until the cheese topping becomes golden brown. Another version of this rice cake uses cassava as its main ingredient.
Royal bibingka
It is one of the favorite desserts of the Bigueños. In Spanish, it means “rotten dough,” although it is far from being stale or smelly. It is a biscuit with a glutinous filling in the middle and best served with coffee or tsokolate de Vigan. This was the favorite of late Fernando Poe Jr. and would order a lot when shooting in Vigan and the neighboring municipalities and provinces.
It is an all-time favorite snack made from white corn. Known in the olden days as “marivic” but currently more popularly known today as “corniks”. It is crunchy with different flavors namely cheese, garlic, spicy and barbeque.


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