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 City’s 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 far places.
Vigan’s 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 Vigan’s 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. Vigan’s garlic and sugarcane vinegar are said to be more strongly flavorful. It’s a great take-home gift after partaking in a Vigan City Fiesta.