The Historic Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur was officially inaugurated as The New7Wonders City recently held within the precincts of St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral.
Vigan, established in the 16th century, represents a fusion of cultural elements from the Philippines, China and Europe, creating a city that is without equal in Asia.
The Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay was the guest speaker at the inauguration. Binay said that the event should serve as an inspiration for how heritage preservation can be best harmonized with urban development.
“In our quest to become strong competitors in the ASEAN and global economies, we cannot be too quick to tear down the old to build the new without serious deliberation and debate,” he said.
“As Vigan has proven, prosperity is not always measured by a city’s skyline. And it is not just malls that can bring in tourists and trade,” Binay add.
Binay urged the people of Vigan to remain committed to promoting their culture and share their best practices to other regions.
“Billions of dollars have been spent in cultural preservation and restoration. These costs would not have been incurred if peoples — past and present — had been mindful of their actions, if they had had more respect for their own and other peoples’ cultural legacies and for our own earth,” he said.
|Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director of New7Wonders (left), with Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders (right), holding the specially-commissioned bronze commemorative plaque for Vigan at the Official New7Wonders Cities Inauguration|
Vigan is the first of the New7Wonders Cities been officially inaugurated, the same moment during the unveiling of a specially-commissioned bronze commemorative plaque, which was cast in the Kunstgießerei München, a famous foundry in the heart of Munich, Germany.
One of the 7 that represent the global diversity of urban society, Vigan, is joined in the “canon of 7″ byBeirut (Lebanon), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and La Paz(Bolivia).