A successful revolt against the Spanish authorities happened in 1762 which liberated Ilocos and paved the formal creation of the Free Ilocos State. It was led by the husband-wife tandem of Diego and Gabriela Silang. But their success and freedom was short lived when he died on May 28, 1763 at the treacherous hands of his friends Miguel Vicos and Pedro Becbec. Gabriela Silang retreated to the hinterlands of Abra and sought refuge in the Tayum house of his uncle, Nicolas Cariño, her father Anselmo‘s younger brother. In this house Gabriela schemed her military strategy and appointed two locals as generals: Miguel Flores and Tagabuen Infiel. The revolutionaries were eventually captured and hanged to death on September 20, 1763 in a spot now known as Plaza Salcedo in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
Beside the former headquarters of the Ilocano Joan of Arc and other revolutionaries is a private museum owned by the Cariño family. Called the Gabriela Cariño Silang Gallery of Fine Arts, the museum is located in the ancestral house of retired Philippine Ambassador Rosario V. Cariño.
The Gabriela Cariño Silang Gallery of Fine Arts has a very extensive European, Oriental and Asian art collections that featured the paintings by Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Pablo Picasso, Domenico Ghirlandaio, among others. It also displays brass, ceramics, chinaware, bronze, books, furniture, the Cariño coat of arms, and many other priceless items.
Some of the paintings displayed in the museum were made by the former ambassador himself, who was very generous and kind to accommodate my request to take a peek of his overwhelming collections. I strongly suggest to go your way to visit this museum. It’s definitely worth it!