By Imelda R. Castro, PIA, Ilocos Sur
Vigan City, June 25 (PIA) – From the brass bell whose side narrates the transfer of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia from Lallo, Cagayan to Vigan, the history and culture of this city unfolds at the Vigan Conservation Center – a three-building museum in barangay Ayusan Sur, inaugurated early this month.
The faith of the Ilocanos greets visitors in the first building which shows the city’s foundation.
The first floor shows the mirror-enclosed icons of saints, pictures that line the walls showing the Saint Paul Cathedral, the old Plaza Salcedo, the Simbaan a Bassit, the bell tower, the image of Nuestra Senora de Caridad in Baticuling wood and the image of the Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, the patron saints of the city’s 39 barangays.
Inside the structure is the hanging wooden Christ on the Cross, the metallic body parts which serve as testimony and gratitude of those whose sickness were healed because of faith in Him.
The ‘mapa georafico del centro de la abra en la provincial de Ylocos (1803) ereccion de los pueblos (Ilocos Norte y Sur) 1807-1897’ is the first huge clay art dominating the western part of the wall. The making of the native cloth called ‘abel Iloco’ ushers one to the room of Vigan’s brave sons and daughters namely: Leona Florentino, Father Jose Burgos, Esteban Villanueva, Diego and Gabriela Silang, President Elpidio Quirino, and Isabelo de los Reyes.
The ‘woman of the war’, Vigan resident Adela Tolentino is given a niche in the museum west of the brave heroes room. She is the wife of the Japanese Army Commander Fujiro Takahasi who saved Vigan from burning and bloodshed by the Japanese Imperial Army with the help of Fr Joseph Klekamp, the kind German Catholic priest.
Vigan in dark years is found in the next room, showing how in the 1960s Vigan was under political war. Next is the room of the famous Heritage Village of Vigan then the room of products such as clay pots, water gourd hat, the native cloth, woven baskets.
The next building shows the various types of Vigan houses, the details, architecture, types of windows, tiles, and other parts. One room shows the ways how to repair and maintain these ancestral houses.
Mayor Eva Marie Medina urged residents to place their antiques in the museum for safekeeping and viewing.