Most people equate Vigan with the historic Calle Crisologo. With its cobblestone streets, old Spanish style houses, horse-drawn carriages, and old world charm, it’s easy to see why Calle Crisologo is considered one of the most beautiful streets in the country. I admit, walking around here during one afternoon to look at furniture and souvenir shops is actually my only memory of Vigan from a previous visit some years back.
But during a recent trip that coincided with the Raniag Vigan Twilight Festival, I was pleasantly surprised to see another side of this heritage city. Launched just last October 2010, the festival named for “Raniag” (an Ilocano word for “light”) celebrates thanksgiving to the Lord and dramatizes the Filipino tradition of commemorating the dearly departed. Western Halloween traditions are also celebrated, so the quiet streets were abuzz with street dancing (which we unfortunately just caught the tail end of), trick or treat activities, and even a zombie run. The highlights for me were the flight of sky lanterns at a memorial park and a lovely candle floating ceremony along the Mestizo River. To cap it off, I got to watch a musical play of Noli Me Tangere staged right on an intersection of Calle Crisologo. Here are a few snapshots.