Tag Archives: Vigan

#206 Burnay

Aside from preserving Vigan’s ancestral houses, the people of Vigan also struggle to continue with  the traditional way of making burnay or unglazed earthen jars, an industry that survived hundreds of years since the Spanish colonial era.

The burnay is made of clay mashed by carabaos (water buffaloes) and mixed with sand. Unfortunately, the more convenient electric kilns are displacing nowadays the dragon kilns where the burnay jars are baked, leading to the slow demise of a centuries-old tradition in Vigan

The burnay jars have small openings while those with bigger mouths are called wangging. In the early years, the burnay, also called tapayan or banga, was used for storage of water, rice grains, basi (sugarcane wine) and condiments like salt and bagoong (fish paste).

Burnay jars are also used to ferment vinegar that comes from the sweet sap of the Arenga Pinnata, a sugar palm tree more commonly known as “kaong.” According to locals, Arengga vinegar tastes better if stored in burnay jars than in plastic or metal containers.

Long live the burnay tradition!

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#77 Vigan

Vigan's Mestizo district

Vigan City is known for having one if  not the only intact Spanish-era district in the Philippines.

Located in Ilocos Sur province in nothern Philippines, Vigan is the capital of the province which lies on the western coast of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. Vigan is a World Heritage Site as it has one of the most intact Hispanic towns in the country complete with authentic cobblestone streets and unique architecture, some of them dating back to the 17th century, which fuses Philippine building design with colonial European (Spanish) architecture.

Among the landmarks in the city is the Mestizo district where the oldest Spanish-styled houses are located. Former Philippine president Elpidio Quirino, the sixth president of the Philippines also had a residence in Vigan, the Syquia Mansion.

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