Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bantay Church and Belfry

I guess majority of the places you will visit in the Philippines, somewhere out there, you will see an old church with a history behind it. I'm not a fan of churches but there are a few interesting story in some. Just a few kilometers away from Vigan, is the town of Bantay in Ilocos Sur. There we visited San Augustine Parish Church that was built in 15th century. I noticed a lot of the churches in Ilocos are built/founded by Augustinian friars. Though damaged during the World War II, it was reconstructed on 1950 with a restored facade of neo-gothic design mixed with pseudo-Romanesque materials and elements (by the way, the last sentence was copied from a research as I can never produce words like that. Architecturally ignorant)  
That's me checking out the facade. I rarely go inside a church.

Entrance to the church

Legend says that fishermen found the image of Our Lady of Charity inside a wooden box floating in Bantaoay River. People from other towns and provinces attempted to move the image but failed to and can only be moved by the people of Bantay miraculously. Hmmm . . . .

At the top of a hill, the Belfry is a few meters away from the church as the Spaniards designed it this way in case of calamities that may damage the church. The belfry also served as a look-out point for any approaching enemies. As we reached the top, we saw a great view of Ilocos Sur. It has one big bell in the middle and surrounded by smaller ones. I am not a Catholic so i discovered that each bell is rang with a different sound depending on the occasion. Also, during the WWII, this was also used to alarm the people and the nearby towns to escape and to seek shelter at the nearby mountains from invading enemies.  
The bell tower

Taken by the care taker who was so nice and always volunteers to get our camera  for  picture taking

Going up the tower

I found the stairs kinda creepy

I feel like Kuya caretaker's dream is to be a photographer. He would take our camera and would make us pose.
In this photo, I can't make my pose because of him he he he but he's the nicest. 

The big bell

One of the small bells. It sucks how people had written on  it.

One of the views . . .  .

 . . . . cemetery

An ice cream vendor takes an afternoon nap just outside the church



great pictures! looks like a beautiful place to visit!

I hope I could visit Ilocos soon. :)

michymichymoo - you should. It's very interesting. It's a combination of history and nature. Food is soooo good and the roads are really nice.

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