ILOCOS DIARIES: Saint Augustine Parish Church (Nuestra Señora dela Caridad)

After a loooong hours of travelling, we finally reach Vigan,Ilocos Sur when the clock almost strike at 12 in the afternoon. We quickly parked our van next to plaza and find some place to eat. Like other visitors, we found ourselves sitting in a close-knit table nearby a mini-canteen stall. When were done with our recharging lunch we started the 1st activity in our itinerary–Vigan tour.

Though we had our own Van that could bring us to many places in Vigan we prefer to used the service of Kalesa. It’s totally new to some of us. I saw a lot of it in TV but this time I experience the thrill of riding on the actual Kalesa by myself. Php150 per hour (good for 3 person) is a rendered fee and will tour you to all tourist spot in Vigan. The advantage of hiring a Kalesa is you can save much of your time because the Kustero knows exactly where to go. Whenever you want to stop for a while for the sake of picture taking or simply want to discover what matter inside then the Kutsero will patiently wait till you done.

Kalesa!!!!

Kalesa!!!!

Heading to Bantay Church...

Heading to Bantay Church…

Since Ilocos are known for having an old historic churches our hired Kalesa brought us to our 1st stopover–Saint Augustine Parish Church. The made of maroon-like bricks Saint Augustine Parish Church is a Roman Catholic Church located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur and more identified by locals as “Bantay Church”. Housing the image of Lady of Charity, Queen of Ilocandia, it is tagged as Shrine of our Lady Charity (Nuestra Señora de la Caridad).

Saint Augustine Parish Church

Saint Augustine Parish Church

The facade of the church is already an eye-catching but when you step inside it will offer a new level of admiration. There is no mass that time but the door is open for everybody. We lit a candle, offer some prayers and feels the serenity of the place.

Blessed to be here!!!!

Blessed to be here!!!!

sta monica2

On the same vicinity of Saint Augustine Church is the 423 years old Bell Tower. It was built a few step from the main church. I had visited some churches before but this is the first time I saw a Belfry which is constructed separately from the Church. After we register our name as tourist, we excitedly climb up to see its interior.

Bantay Church

Bantay Bell Tower

Bantay Bell Tower

No doubt as you step on the spiral staircase because the tower proven its strong composure as the year passes. There’s a sense of fulfillment when we reach the top. The wind are so generous in accompanying our less than 15 mins. stay and the view from where we stand are so marvelous. The Belfry give us the right window to see  the other part of Bantay.

View from the top....

View from the top….

Thank you for the Heavenly moment. Visiting Bantay Church and its Bell Tower is somehow a great way to start our Lakbay Norte.

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