Vigan is an island that separates itself from the mainland by three rivers: the great Abra River, the Mestizo River and the Govantes River. It is unique among Filipino cities because it is the largest and oldest historical city in the country dating back to the 16th century Spanish colonial period.
Vigan was an important coastal commercial post in the pre-colonial era. Vigan has retained its authenticity in its street pattern, its historic urban design and its use in open spaces. Historic buildings have retained their traditional uses for trading on lower floors and as residences for owners on the upper floors. This city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.