Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte

By 11:30 A.M we reached Paoay in Ilocos Norte. It is the location of a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the historic St. Augustine Church. The church and its three storey bell tower are made of coral stones. The bell tower served as an observation post for the Katipuneros during the Spanish period and also by Filipino guerrillas during World War II. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bantay Bell Tower and St. Augustine Church

By 9 A.M, we were in Bantay, a town quite near Vigan. It is the locale of the historic Bantay Bell Tower on top of a hill. It was used by our ancestors as part of the city's defense against possible enemies. Just a few steps away is  the St. Augustine Church which was built in 1590.  It is also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity.

Adoration Chapel

You need to register at a Tourist Center tent in front of the gate of the Bell Tower. Entrance is free but a donation is appreciated. I just signed over my name and gave 50 pesos as our donation. There are several stairs to get to the base of the bell tower and once you are inside, more stairs to get to the top.  It was a really warm, sunny day and I was sweating buckets so I opted to just wait for D as he made his way up the bell tower. 

That's me with the umbrella. :D

In 2005, my sister and I visited this bell tower. There was a caretaker who opened the gate for us. We were the only visitors so we both climbed to the top to catch an amazing view of the whole town. On our way down, I went a few steps ahead of my sister. When we were out and going back to the van we rented, my sister asked me if I saw a little boy who was on his way up. I said 'no, what?!!' There was no one else there, it was just the two of us. She was adamant and insisted there was a small boy. I still shudder and get the goosebumps when I remember this story. But that is NOT the reason I declined to go to the top, I was really dehydrated from sweating too much so I was wary about climbing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

May 23: Vigan Day 2

So basically I can say I am a night owl while D, he rises really early. Perhaps it has been his habit because certain days of the week, his first class starts at 7:30 A.M.  His body clock is set even when we go out of town. On our second day in Vigan, he woke up at 5 A.M and wandered off to snap pictures. When he returned he told me he was able to hear the 7 A.M mass at the Cathedral which was in Ilokano. It would have been interesting to witness that but hey I was still asleep in our comfy hotel bed. LOL

We had our buffet breakfast at the cafe of the hotel located in the ground floor. It was a small spread but the ambiance was really nice. After breakfast, we checked out to head to our next destination.

D grabbed the 10 table number and placed it on our table
because it was our 10th year anniversary road trip! :D

Monday, June 25, 2018

May 22: Vigan Day 1

We arrived in Vigan at 5 P.M. and headed straight to our hotel. The Hotel Veneto de Vigan on Bonifacio Street is quite near to the famed Calle Crisologo. With our car securely parked inside the hotel premises, we decided to go explore Vigan on foot. It wasn't sunny anymore but quite humid as we walked, walked and walked all over. 

It started to drizzle when we reached Plaza Salcedo which is located in front of the Vigan City Hall. So we decided to have an early dinner at Cafe Leona. The restaurant in Calle Crisologo is named after Leona Florentino, an Ilokano poetess, satirist and playwright. Naturally, we ordered some Ilokano dishes to satisfy our appetite. While dining, a heavy downpour with massive lightning reigned outside for about 20 minutes or so. I didn't mind as I was savoring my Vigan longganisa, small bagnet pieces, bowl of pinakbet, fried boneless bangus and lomi because I wanted some soup.

It was a bit cooler when we walked back to the hotel. Buying some pasalubongs along the way. My sense of direction is not good, never was. We got lost getting to the hotel because I insisted we were on the right path. Until D just asked someone because we kept going around in circles. LOL My bad!