Vigan sets cobblestones in entire UNESCO heritage site

ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – You haven’t been to Vigan until you walked on the cobblestones of Crisologo Street.

But now Vigan is embarking on an ambitious plan to lay out cobblestones on the former Ciudad Fernandina or the city’s heritage zone inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a world heritage site. 

“Right now, we are setting cobblestones in Plaridel Street, Delos Reyes Street, and those connecting them with Crisologo,” said Vigan Mayor Juan Carlo Medina.

He said they would add Florentino Street within 2019.

In the next 6 years, the roads surrounding Plaza Salcedo and Plaza Burgos will also be made of cobblestones.

The project is under the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Mayor Medina said the cobblestones are sourced from San Esteban town, which is known for its “piedra Pinoy” or those cream-colored stones also known as “baldosa.”

To be more strict, these type of stones paving is known as sett as these are quarried and shaped into regular forms, which in this case are brick-shaped. Cobblestones, meanwhile, are generally naturally-occurring stones.  

Setts and cobblestones are conducive to kalesa (horse-drawn carriages) because the hooves can grip on them more easily. 

Medina said that unlike the original sett on Crisologo Street, the new cobbles were laid out with drainage canals before being paved. 

“This has to be done manually so the workers can only lay out a few hundreds per day,” he said. 

The initial cost of the project is set at P60 million and would be increased to P60 million in 2019. –