Where To Go In Vigan: Bantay Church and Bell Tower

Published on September 11, 2012

Historians and geography geeks will probably go nuts because of this entry’s title. In reality, I believe Bantay is outside of Vigan. But since it’s part of the usual Vigan tour/itinerary, thus the title of this post.

We were at Bantay Church and Bell Tower on a Friday before the four-day long weekend that’s why the crowd was still manageable. Can you imagine if hundreds of people flock to the tower? I’ll probably either die of suffocation or suffer from anxiety attacks for the rest of my miserable life.

The first time I laid my eyes on the humungous, soaring, gigantic tower, my first reaction was: SHET! ANG INIT! Bwahahaha! You have to understand. We were there at exactly 12 noon so our skin was terribly torched by the sun. But since Manila was still recovering from habagat and the series of  typhoons, I had no choice but to welcome the sun with open arms. Ayun, BASKIL tuloy! :p

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I was really amazed at how tall the Bell Tower is. Sabagay, may tower bang pandak? But seriously, the Bell Tower is truly a sight to behold. I was in complete awe as I watch the other tourists take turns in taking pictures of the tower. Realizing that this tower was built centuries ago made me admire my country even more.

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We saw some tourists spending time for some creative shots with the tower. You have to look at other blogs and see how imaginative Filipinos are when it comes to taking pictures. But since we were sweating profusely (Naks ang lalim nun! Thanks, Thesaurus!), we settled for the traditional shots.

DSC_1085 Jeff and Boyet

DSC_1086Jeff walking out on Boyet :p

DSC_1088With Joie

DSC_1094Jeff and Joie

DSC_1096With Hubby

And of course, the mandatory jump shots!

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Going on top of the Bell Tower, tourists need to endure a very steep path. I used my right hand to hold on to the walls for support, while the other hand was firmly holding on to my husband’s hand. Though I’m not really scared of heights, I usually get dizzy when I’m in high places. I’m not sure if my vertigo is to blame for this misfortune. When we reached the first half of the tower, I was a bit hesitant to continue because the stairs that leads to the bells are only made of wood. But then I told myself that I didn’t travel all the way to the north just to chicken out! One important lesson I learned from the years of traveling: Be careful, but be carefree. You’ll never go far if you let your fears and inhibitions kill your desire to experience life at its fullest!

DSC_1105 With Jeff and Boyet (OO, mahangin sa taas!)

Aside from the bells (it wouldn’t be called Bell Tower for nothing), this spot also provides a great view of the town. The sight of the cemetery from up there was really cool. Sorry for the lack of adjective, but it was really cool. I wasn’t able to take photos of it because my knees were trembling. Mwahahaha!!!

Unfortunately, the captivating fa├žade of the Bell Tower is completely different from what you can see inside. The floors and even the bells were not spared by the vandals. I hope the local government can do something about it. The local officials and tour guides should make sure that the tower is preserved. They should also work on educating the guests and even the local residents. “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”

DSC_1106 Jeff and Joie

Found down the hill is the Bantay Church, also known as St. Augustine Parish Church. Aside from good food, Ilocos also brags of the picturesque churches such as the Bantay Church.

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While praying, I noticed that the image at the center of the altar suddenly rotated! I told Boyet about it, but he thought that I was just hallucinating. I found some blogs online confirming that the image really rotates. If you’ve been to Ilocos and seen the image move, please leave a comment here in my blog so my husband would not think that I’m crazy. :p

DSC_1109And since it was my first time in this church, I made a wish!

We also bought some tinubong near the church. We gave in to the vendor’s free taste offer of this famous Vigan delicacy. According to the vendor, tinubong is glutinous flour, sugar and coconut stuffed inside a bamboo. When we asked him how to open it, he didn’t give us an answer. He simply slammed the bamboo on the floor!

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People used to tell me never leave Vigan without trying their empanada and longganisa. But nobody mentioned about tinubong. I have to say that this is the most underrated food in Vigan. So believe me when I say that you’re stay in Vigan is incomplete without trying their tinubong. And smashing it is just so cool! Hahaha!

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4 comments

  1. This post suddenly made me crave for tinubong! Nakakamiss! :D

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  2. Ang cool ng tinubong at ang astig ni manong vendor mag demo. hahaha!

    ReplyDelete