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Vigan declared ‘Wonder City’ | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

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Vigan declared ‘Wonder City’

By Ariel Paolo Tejada (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 9, 2015 - 12:00am Vigan City new seven wonder cities

VIGAN CITY, Philippines – The status of Vigan City as one of the new seven wonder cities of the world was formalized with a grand inauguration on Thursday night, making the Philippines one of three countries with more than one wonder.

Vigan is considered by the New7Wonders Foundation as the “best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia.”

Vice President Jejomar Binay and New7Wonders Foundation president Bernard Webber led the ceremony. Also present were Sen. Cynthia Villar, Vigan Mayor Mayor Eva Singson-Medina, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson and other local officials.

Webber personally handed to city officials a bronze plaque that declares Vigan as New Wonder City.

In his speech, Binay said Vigan City should serve as an inspiration to other local government units on how preserving culture and heritage can be 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,” Binay said during Vigan’s inauguration.

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“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,” he added.

He also reminded the residents of Vigan to remain committed to preserving their culture and environment and share their best practices with other local governments.

Webber said having two wonders – Vigan and the underground river in Palawan – says a lot about the Philippines.

He also said he was impressed with the motivation and participation of every Filipino around the world which made it possible for Vigan to be included in the list of wonder cities.

“Participation and motivation of every citizen is what makes a great future of this country,” he added.

Mayor Singson thanked all the Filipinos who voted and campaigned for Vigan.

“To everyone who contributed to this triumph of our city and the entire country, thank you very much,” she said.

“This is Vigan, our heritage wonder city, whom we are all proud of, and we know by heart that as residents, it is our responsibility to preserve it, nurture, keep it vibrant and to treasure it, not just for today but for the future generations to appreciate and emulate,” she added.

Vigan joined other cities worldwide, namely Beirut in Lebanon, Doha in Qatar, Durban in South Africa, Havana in Cuba, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and La Paz in Bolivia as the seven cities that “best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization,” according to New7Wonders Foundation. – With Helen Flores, Jun Elias

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