in , ,

Four Philippine Heritage Towns And Cities You Should Visit Next Summer

One of the Ancestral Houses located in Carcar

4 Philippine Heritage Towns And Cities You Should Visit Next Summer

The Philippines is famous for its natural attractions, but it is also becoming increasingly popular abroad for its heritage landmarks left from its colonial past. The capital of Manila, itself, has a lot of old buildings left over from the Spanish and American times.

Philippine Heritage Towns
Calle Crisologo in Vigan – Philippine Heritage Towns

Here are four other cities outside the capital you should consider visiting next summer for their heritage landmarks:

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Kalesa in Vigan
Kalesa in Vigan By Irvin Parco Sto. Tomas – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

No list of Philippine heritage towns is ever complete without Vigan. This UNESCO World Heritage Center was a major economic center in northern Luzon during the Spanish era as exhibited by the gorgeous old houses on Mena Crisologo, which used to house Filipino-Chinese traders during the peak of the transactions with China.

Also Read: Top 10 Hotels in Vigan

Heritage lovers would also be delighted by the Archbishop’s Palace, the St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City Hall along with the Provincial Capitol in Plaza Salcedo.

Carcar, Cebu

One of the Ancestral Houses located in Carcar
One of the Ancestral Houses located in Carcar By Joannerfabregas – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cebu is one big heritage island but Carcar is one special city for heritage enthusiasts as it is full of houses preserved from the Spanish and American eras. While more famous for its shoes, lechon, ampao (rice sweets) and chicharon, it is also known for the Carcar Rotunda and the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish Church. The Rizal Monument and Carcar dispensary are also must-gos.

Taal, Batangas

Named due to its proximity to nearby Taal Lake and Taal Volcano, the town is considered a heritage landmark by the National Historical Institute for its rows of centurys-old bahay na bato ancestral stone houses which recalls Castillan architecture.

Basilica of St. Martins of Tours
Basilica of St. Martins of Tours By Eric Jam – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the town’s main attractions is the Basilica of St. Martins of Tours, considered the biggest Catholic church in Asia. It is also the church with the only silver-plated tabernacles in the country. There is also the Escuela Pia, which once served as the primary education center of the town’s principalia. You can also visit the Marcela Agoncillo Museum, famous for being the house where the first Philippine flag was sown.

Jimenez, Misamis Occidental

Just a few hours of travel from Iligan, Jimenez is not only noted for its balikbayan culture. It is also becoming increasingly prominent as a heritage town in the southern side of the archipelago. There are at least 70 heritage structures within its borders, 30 of which are identified as such by the municipal government while the others are only listed as heritage structures as identified by the National Heritage Law of 2009.

Old Bacarro Printing Press
Old Bacarro Printing Press By JJ Carpio – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Visit the Old Bacarro Printing Press for a peek at some Japanese-era bills. This structure served as the home of the Aldrec Tac-An Nacion family before it was used as a printing press for emergency money during the occupation. The San Juan Bautista Church is also a good site as it is one of the oldest churches in the country.

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

What do you think?


Continuing the Culture of Food in San Sebastian, Spain

Carcar Lechon

6 Best Places to Eat Lechon de Cebu