Ilocos Quick Tour, Part 5: Bantay Church to Villa Angela Heritage House

 Ilocos Quick Tour, Bantay Church ,Villa Angela Heritage House
The Author at the  St. Augustine Parish Church (also known as Bantay Church) in the town of Bantay.
This baroque-gothic style church is one of the oldest in Ilocos Sur (built in 1590) and features a separate belfry on top of a small hill a few meters away- which affords a superb view of the mountains in the neighboring province of Abra on one side and with the South China Sea on the opposite side. The church was damaged during World War II and was reconstructed in 1950 with the restored façade now with a neo-gothic design with touches of Romanesque elements. The belfry, which also served as a lookout for approaching enemies (thus the word Bantay means “to guard”), along with the church was constructed using forced labor.

Ilocos Quick Tour, Bantay Church, Villa Angela Heritage House

I started out at 9:45 in the morning and had a breakfast at Cafe Uno. I ordered longganisa ken egg, sansrival & tableya for dessert (spelled according to their menu book)

After about 5 minutes of negotiation and re-negotiation with the “kutsero” that was parked a few blocks from Cafe Uno, for only P500.00 I started out my calesa tour at 10:20 in the morning.

My itinerary:

1. Bantay Church & Belfry. A wedding ceremony was being held when I visited Bantay Church so I didn’t have the chance to go inside the church, but I had a blast at the belfry. I endured the many steps to the belfry and conquered the scary height of the belfry. It was so high that people look tiny when you are up there. No entrance fee.

2. Father Jose Burgos Birth House (now a museum). Most of his things are kept and preserved there including one of the original transcripts of Noli Me Tangere. We were also shown his secret office where plans and meetings for the revolution were held. It was seen as a garden by the Spaniards then. Entrance fee is P20.00

This is the birth house of Father Jose Burgos. They turned it into a museum and most of his things are kept and preserved.

3. Floro Crisologo Museum. I wanted to stay in his library! No fix entrance fee, just give a tip.

4. Pagburnayan Pottery. Jeremiah 18:12 in action! I developed high respects for the real potters after a visit to Pagburnayan. I wanted to give them millions if only I had. I appreciate them and the work that they do. Inside the pottery field was a gigantic kiln where a good-sized man can fit. Pots were flying in the air and later I found out that these were pots that didn’t shape well in the oven so they had to purposely break them by throwing them out so they can re-purpose it. Give a tip on your way out and make sure it goes to the potters.

Pagburnayan Pottery The Author at the Hidden Garden

5. Hidden Garden (where actresses/actors dine, they say). I just briefly passed by this garden-resto. I had no one to dine in with so I just took pictures and left. No entrance fee here, but you can buy merienda packs, something you can munch while riding the calesa.

6. Chavit Singson‘s Baluarte & the Vigan Wonderland Hotel with Casino (the latter, so I heard). I had a little squabble with the lazy camel who refused to stand up and a snob tiger who refused to face me. Hey, I’m an animal lover. You don’t have to snob me. Entrance to Baluarte is free.

7. Villa Angela Heritage House – where Tom Cruise stayed during the taping of Oliver Stone‘s Fourth of July. They showed me the room where Tom Cruise stayed. No entrance fee here. 

In only a few hours, I was done with my Vigan tour.

Getting ready to go back to Laoag for another exciting adventure.


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