Vigan City Fiesta
The Vigan City Fiesta is held every January 25. It is
celebrated during the feast day of the conversion of St.
Paul the Apostle. St. Paul is Vigan Cityís patron saint.
Before his conversion, St. Paul was known as Saul, a
zealous persecutor of Christians. After he was touched
by a personal encounter with Jesus Christ on his way to
Damascus, his name was changed to Paul and he endured a
lot of hardships and danger to spread the word of God to
Viganís main church, the Metropolitan Cathedral is
dedicated to St. Paul and it stands at the core of the
Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. The major Catholic
educational institution in Vigan that stands beside the
church is also dedicated to the patron, the St. Paul
College of Ilocos Sur.
The Vigan City Fiesta usually lasts for several days. It
includes within the period the celebration of the
anniversary of the cityhood of Vigan, which is
commemorated every January 27.
Biguenos from all over the country and even abroad
return to Vigan, as it is the custom of Filipinos to
return to their hometown to join their family and
friends in the celebration of their fiesta. They are
joined by thousands of visitors from other parts of the
Philippines and other countries in enjoying the cultural
shows, parades and street dancing prepared by the local
government with the help of the local industries and
communities. There are also food fairs, arts and crafts
exhibits, as well as a visiting carnival.
Participants from the different neighboring provinces in
the northern region are also sent to compete in the
various games and activities, particularly the street
dancing competition. This participation by other
municipalities makes the Vigan City Fiesta not only a
local event participated in by Viganís officials, but a
national event participated in by other local public
heads and national officials.
Within the Vigan City Fiesta days, the Longganisa
Festival is also celebrated. The city has a
longganisa-themed parade and at one time attempted to
set a record for having the longest longganisa ever
made. The festival has become a crowd-drawer as Vigan
longganisa, a native version of Mexican salami, has a
distinct garlicky taste that has become a favorite of
the Filipino palate.
Though other manufacturers have tried to copy the Vigan
longganisa taste, they have not been successful.
Biguenos attribute this to the fact that the making of
Vigan longganisa is a centuries-old tradition of the
local makers and all if not most of the ingredients used
in making the native sausage is sourced from Vigan.
Viganís garlic and sugarcane vinegar are said to be more
strongly flavorful. Itís a great take-home gift after
partaking in a Vigan City Fiesta.