Every Vigan visitor will surely never leave the city without seeing the ancestral houses. Some even want to touch them and examine closely. Some sleep in ancestral homes turned into hotels and inns to experience the old time. However, only a few are aware how does, and should, the rooftop (of Vigan ancestral houses) look like. On this post, I'll show you photos of ancestral houses rooftops.
[VIGAN] rooftop of ancestral houses along Calle Crisologo
[VIGAN] an example of a typical ancestral house roofing
[VIGAN] roofing made from 'baked clay'
[VIGAN] The brick roof is replaced by galvanized iron.
[VIGAN] relatively modern roof
[VIGAN] a well-preserved roof (left) along Gen Luna Street
Thanks to the Bigueños who advocated for the preservation of Vigan's ancestral homes. There are also some who are not from Vigan but took part in the advocacy of preserving these houses. These people are heroes of Vigan. The city has been saved from the threats of modernity. Somehow, it's good to point out that although modernity has embraced the heritage city, it has not significantly changed the townscape of Vigan. The past and the present are living together making Vigan an exceptional example of a successfully preserved heritage city with community involvement.
Preservation was successful but it never became perfect. Some original roofs have been replaced by improper roofing so a guideline was passed into a law. Section 16 of Municipal Ordinance No 4 Series of 2000 provides:
- a. Pitched, hip, or gable based on historical precedent, with or without lantern-type air vents.
- b. Flat-deck azoteas with balustrades and/or parapet walls.
- a. Clay/brick roof tiles
- b. Corrugated galvanized iron
- c. Galvanized tile sheet
- d. Tiled decks
[VIGAN] Soffit should look like this...
[VIGAN] ...and should be as detailed as this.
- a. Fascia/edge of roof
- b. Downspout and gutters
- c. Under eaves/soffit treatment which shall be in wood, sheet metal or masonry
- d. Cornice which shall be in wood or masonry
- e. Brackets
There is nothing permanent in this world, even these ancestral houses that the people of Vigan are obligated to preserve. Somehow, the only practical remedy to retain the old world in Vigan when nothing's left to preserve is to do a replica.
[VIGAN] old and new together: solar panels on a rooftop
Today, the brick roof has been replaced by modern roofing but the law made it sure that the replacement should still look like the original. With the advancement of technology, solar panels now invade the ancestral houses roofs. Truly, there is nothing permanent in this world but the people of Vigan made it sure that the heritage they love preserving will still be seen by future generations the way they see it now. In Vigan, the old world does not adjust to fit to the modern world. Instead, the modern world is adjusting to fit the old world in Vigan. /end