Government and People in Vigan
Since Vigan is the capital of Ilocos Sur, it is the center of the province’s politics, commerce, education and religion. It is where most office branches of the national government are and where people go to receive secondary and tertiary hospital care. Being a commercial center since the Spanish period, traders from municipalities all over Ilocos still go to Vigan to buy and sell goods. Its religious also started an excellent educational heritage in Vigan that has flourished throughout the years, making it now the site of many high-quality institutions of learning in Ilocos Sur.
This city has a 5th class classification and has received many regional awards for its city government-implemented projects. Its government aims to continue to keep Vigan the leading municipality of Ilocos Sur. It is the municipal government’s mission to improve each Bigueno’s life in keeping with the rich heritage of their past. They aim to accomplish this by instilling in their locals pride in Vigan’s culture, conserving and protecting Vigan’s heritage and environment, delivering high-standard social services as well as programs for poverty alleviation. They plan to do all these with the participation of the community, empowering the Biguenos in the process.
The people of Vigan are known to be extremely industrious, thrifty and hospitable. Visitors will not encounter any problems communicating with the locals as they know how to converse in English and Filipino. Their local language is called Ilocano, which is also how the people of the Ilocos region are called. As per the census conducted in 2000, population in Vigan reached 45,143 people. The household total at that time numbered 9,193. People who come from Vigan usually have surnames starting with the letters A and F. This was because in 1847, Governor General Narciso Claveria instructed all the citizens of the country to take on surnames or make changes to the one they already have. This ruling’s goal was to ensure that tax collection was maximized by documenting every inhabitant and putting a system that would help the Spanish government track more efficiently the taxes being paid by the population.
As part of the system, the natives of Vigan were instructed to have surnames beginning in A, while the mestizos had to choose surnames that began with F. Established families like the De Leon, Dela Cruz, Donato, Rosario and Prudencio attached another surname that start with F to the one they already carried. They began using Faz de Leon, Filar dela Cruz (later shortened to Filart), Ferre Donato, Fino del Rosario and Foz Prudencio. There were also prominent families that completely changed their name, like the Mariano family who opted to take the new surname Formoso.