February 08, 2017

A showcase of Ilocano history: the Ilocos Regional Museum Complex

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    The Ilocos Regional Museum Complex is a set of museums all located beside the provincial capitol building in Vigan. The complex is managed by the National Museum, meaning entrance is free for any of the museums within the complex.


    Burgos Museum used to be the home of Padre Jose Burgos, one of the three martyr priests. It houses memorabilia associated with Padre Jose Burgos along with other artifacts that you can identify with the city of Vigan.

    Provincial Jail may not sound like a name for a museum, but it is Vigan’s newest. It literally used to be the Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail, housing some of Vigan’s most hardened criminals. Nowadays, it houses memorabilia associated with the 6th President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino.


    According to historical records, he was born at the then-provincial jail because his father served as its jail warden. Her mother, a native of La Union, just wanted to visit his father when she suddenly felt like she was about to give birth.


    After relocating all inmates to Bantay, Ilocos Sur, the museum’s second floor now houses an exhibit featuring all of former President Quirino’s personal effects: barongs, hats, shoes, canes, even his bed and former office when he was still in Quezon City.

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    The museum also houses an exhibit on Basi, the local spirit, and how it has shaped the history of Vigan and Ilocos Sur in general. One of the displays talks about the Basi Revolution.

    There is no entrance fee for any of the museums at the Ilocos Regional Museum Complex, as they are under the National Museum. The Ilocos Regional Museum Complex is open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and is located at Burgos, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

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