Christoph Brumann and David Berliner, in their book World Heritage on the Ground: Ethnographic
Perspectives (2016), ask what World Heritage (WH) does on the ground far away from the meeting halls of
the WH Committee. This article explores the ways in which WH moves and breathes on the ground of Calle
Crisologo, Vigan City in northern Philippines. Utilizing participant observation and key informant interviews
and building on Edward Soja’s notion of Thirdspace, it aims to unpack differences of meanings with regard
to the ways WH gets negotiated by locals. The themes of remembrances, counter-memory, impacts and
meanings of WH, rootedness and counter practices, and postcoloniality problematize and enrich WH’s
relationship with local histories, memories, societies, identities, and economies. Shown through the
variegated accounts are the ways in which people’s engagement with the street turns it into a fecund and
volatile, real and imagined lifeworld of experiences. Findings and lessons relate well to heritage’s meaning,
value, and significance – such as, for instance, the ways that local people’s voices can be better valued for
more sustainable and inclusive heritage, culture, and memory of Vigan City and elsewhere.

As shown, ordinary people’s voices, though playing a part in the sustenance of heritage, have been less likely heard, compared to architects and politicians in official decision-making as regards heritagization. This is one area in which future research may probe. In future policy making on heritage by the city or elsewhere, how can ordinary people’s perspectives, such as the residents’ and other townsfolk be better taken into account, especially along preservation? While this research focuses on ordinary locals, how can we further take into account the ways architects, urban planners, politicians, and ordinary stakeholders engage in dialogues with one another as regards heritage planning and management? How can differences in tastes and aspirations be negotiated more efficiently for heritage management? Further research on these areas, whether in Vigan or in other heritage sites, may examine these issues as well, benefitting not only Vigan but also other cultural and political contexts.