We arrived in Ilocos after an approximately 10-hour drive, during which I’ve had a series of 1-hour naps. My friends kept teasing me because apparently, I do a lot of headbanging while sleeping on the bus. We had a couple of stopovers and the entire road trip didn’t feel dragging. It was my first time to go on a long road trip and I’m thankful the entire journey went smoothly. Our first stop in Ilocos was at Saint Augustine Parish Church, commonly known as Bantay Church, and Bantay Bell Tower.
We were given around half an hour to go around the area. There were several other tour groups with us, but the whole church compound was spacious enough that it did not seem overcrowded at all. I was raised believing that you’re entitled to one wish for every new church you visit. I wished for my wish that morning and so far, it hasn’t come true but my fingers are still crossed.
After visiting the church, we went to the Bantay Bell Tower which is right beside. I think it’s important not to lose the historical context of the places we visited so courtesy of a quick Google search, here you go:
The old historic belfry of the church known as the Bantay Tower, which served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish colonial era, gave the town its name – bantay (meaning to guard). Established in 1590, the church is one of the oldest in the Ilocos Region.
We didn’t go to the tower right away because we got distracted by a certain spot that had miniature bells.
See, the bells were so tiny you could hardly spot them, right? They only allow small groups inside the topmost part of the tower so we had to wait a few minutes for our turn. We didn’t mind, though, because we’re patient like that. Hehe.
On the way down the tower, we thought the narrow staircase was a good photo-place so this happened…
And yup, those are actual tombs.
We have a lot more photos and I’m just going to put some of them here…
We couldn’t leave the place without having a photo op on the Bantay Bell Tower bench. Special thanks to the kind man who graciously took our photos.
Anyway, before we boarded our bus once again, may pahabol pang shots. I blame the chairs because they were so inviting.
It was only our first stop but we had loads of fun already. Our next destination was Hidden Garden Restaurant where it’s time for us to have some real Ilokano breakfast. I’ll have a separate post for that!