Vigan is one of the oldest towns of the Philippines. It is located on the Northwest coast of Luzon. If you are heading from Sagada, be prepared for a long journey. I can’t help but recommend taking the earliest minivan from Sagada to Bauko at 8am, then you will have to take a minivan from Bauko to Cervantes, then another one from Cervantes to Tagudin and then a fourth and last minivan from Tagudin to Vigan. You are most likely to arrive late afternoon in Vigan. The road from Cervantes to Tagudin is absolutely stunning as you drive through the Cordillera Mountains!
Vigan is noted as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The city is an heritage of the Spanish colonial era with dark-wood mansions, cobblestone streets and clattering kalesa which are horse-drawn carriages. There are a couple of things to discover just wandering in the streets: the Calle Crisologo, the Mestizo district, the white baroque Vigan Cathedral, the Plaza Salcedo, the Plaza Burgos and so on. A big half day is more than enough to enjoy Vigan.
Islam reached the Philippines in the 13th century with the arrival of muslim traders from the Persian Gulf. Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines sailing from Spain in 1521. He conquered and established alliances with Datu Zula who was the chieftain of Sugbu. Sugbu is today known as Cebu. The Spanish set up their capital at Manila in 1571 after defeating a local muslim ruler. Ferdinand Magellan also brought catholicism to the Philippines which was the extended to the whole country following several other Spanish expeditions. The Spanish era lasted until the outbreak of the Spanish–American war in 1898. From that period started the American colonial era.