One would imagine that after nearly 400 years of European colonization––an era that author Carmen Guerrero Nakpil referred to as “300 years in a convent” ––the Philippines would be the Asian Andalusia.
Oddly, very little of our Iberian past remains, and it’s mostly in our food and our genes. There is only a scattering of heritage towns left in the country. Very little remains of the European architecture and urban planning our colonizers took four centuries to create in an effort to govern a province of Spain in the Orient. Of what was left are a few towns and homes––proud and historic––where hints of Spain endure: Intramuros and the Taal Heritage Town., Cebu’s Carcar, Bulacan’s Malolos, Balayan in Batangas, Sariaya in Quezon, Silay in Negros, and Dapitan in Zamboanga.
Of all the remaining heritage towns in the country, two truly stand out: Metro Vigan and Laoag. Metro Vigan in Ilocos Sur is unique because it is extensive and it is the only surviving historic city from the 16th century. Breathtaking and well-preserved, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and elected as one of the New Seven Wonders Cities. Laoag in Ilocos Norte was a thriving commercial and trading hub even before the Spanish arrived, but when they came, they selected the place as a key seat for Christianity. To connect to this era in our collective past, Vista Estates is creating two townships where Filipinos who seek to build forever sanctuaries and better tomorrows can find their place.
On 16 beautiful hectares in Metro Vigan will rise Querencia—aptly named from the Spanish word for “something desired.” For those who “yearn for the sun,” Bramasole recreates the Tuscan countryside on 20 stunning hectares in Laoag.
Classic Spanish Art and Architecture
Perched on the western coast of Luzon looking out onto the West Philippine Sea, Vigan is the provincial capital of Ilocos Sur, admired for its Belgian block streets and architecture that is unique to the city. Here, homes are a fusion of native Philippine and oriental building design with colonial Spanish architecture, creating residences that echo old European towns yet are adapted to our tropical climate and built with local materials.
Vigan is a breathtaking place of 2,511 hectares with delicately gentle hills and greenery. It is located a distant but scenic 407 kilometers from Manila, another 82 kilometers from Laoag, and 138 kilometers from the regional capital of the Ilocos Region––San Fernando in La Union. It is in the town of Bantay that the arresting master planned Spanish township of Querencia will rise.
Echoing the Mission-style architecture that rose primarily in Alta California––and named for the historic Mission trail that dots Highway 101––Querencia will be composed of charming hamlets and tower clusters of white stucco topped with clay-tile roofs which are well loved in the California landscape. Architecture reminiscent of Santa Barbara will blanket the micro city and breathe fascinating new life into Bantay. The exquisitely painted Azulejo tiles will line the township›s walkways and park trails and imbibe commercial areas and charming amenity spaces with Spanish art, life, and color. The estate›s commercial hub will be named Azulejos and is inspired by Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara›s sprawling open-air shopping and dining center.
An Exquisite Tuscan Town Flourishes in the Heart of Ilocos Norte
Located at the northern tip of the Northwestern Luzon Growth Quadrangle, Laoag is within two hours by plane to many of East Asia’s economic tigers taking off from the Laoag International Airport. It stands at the forefront of green technology. The towering windmills of the Bangui Wind Farm feed the first wind-driven power plant in Southeast Asia.
Nestled within this historical yet thoroughly progressive city is Bramasole which aims to replicate the quintessential Tuscan way of life with its lifescapes––inspired by the villas of the mountain town of Cortona in Italy. Cortona is a cherished historical site rife with stunning piazzas, cobbled streets, trattorias, and old-world artisanal shops. Rising within the estate is Bramasole Residences, a cluster of vertical residential towers fitted with smart features and globally-inspired amenities, including a clubhouse with a pavilion, swimming pool, play areas, and landscaped parks and gardens. Bramasole will offer the comforts and necessities of modern-day living, yet set in the beauty, calm, and inspiration of days past.
An Investment into a Better Way of Living
Vista Land is investing into these master planned developments, making good on its promise to its homebuyers and investors to continue creating superior offerings, and, more importantly, deliver excellent long-term investment growth.
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