Inscription of Vigan as a WHS was rejected earlier, in 1989, because it couldn't compare with Spanish colonial cities like Cartagena (Colombia) and Trinidad (Cuba). I haven't been to those two places, but I've seen many other Latin American colonial towns. Like those, Vigan has the checkerboard street plan, the central plaza (even two of them) and the cobbled streets (well, one street).  Although it's not spectacular on the Spanish-colonial scale of things, Vigan is quite a remarkable oasis in the Philippines. In general, not many historic buildings are left, after centuries of earthquakes, fires and WWII (the latter having been very harsh on the Philippines). Here in Vigan they've decided to save whatever is left. The historical buildings are in various states of (dis)repair, but their ensemble has great atmosphere (added by sealing one street off for motorized vehicles). As the ICOMOS report remarks, Vigan should actually be compared with other Asian colonial trading cities like Hoi An, Malacca and (the more brightly painted) Macau. One of the joys of Vigan is its old villas (mostly dating from the 19th century), which are open to visitors. You can even stay at one (Villa Angela), which I did and can only recommend. One really feels like the lady or the lord of the manor there, sitting, eating and sleeping at furniture that you normally aren't allowed to touch in a museum.