Monday, March 10, 2014

The Majestic Bantay Belfry

     After strolling around Calle Crisologo we decided to go to Bantay Belfry. Going there you can ride a tricycle or a calesa. For us, we choose the calesa to complete the experience. 
the bell tower on the top of the hill
     Bantay Belfry is the most famous bell tower in Ilocandia because the classic movie "Panday" starring FPJ was shot here. But before Panday pulled the sword through the bell in this belfry the tower already had a big part in our history. The belfry stood there since the 1950's together with the St. Augustine Church. It was built on top of a hill and it is said to be the people’s watchtower which is part of the city’s defense that helps in alerting people or warn them against possible enemies. In our history it is said that Bantay Belfry is where Diego Silang and his troops were said to have fought with the Spaniards in 1763.

Bantay Belfry & St. Augustine Church
the belfry with the statue of the Virgin Mary
  >>> going up <<<

      Bantay Belfry is made up of bricks and the stairs inside are made of wood. The spiral staircase going up from first floor to second floor is still made of bricks but on the next level the staircase is already made of wood as well as the floor at the top of the tower. I'm not afraid of heights but I'm getting paranoid because the wooden floor creaks whenever we walk around. I was thinking that when people are not careful and get overloaded at the top floor the wooden floor might collapse. So, it was good that we are the only people up there at that time.
 >>>inside the belfry<<<
at the staircase made of bricks going to the 2nd floor
the wooden staircase
"The Bells" (too bad, they are already victims of vandalism)
          On one of the tower's windows, you can see two mountains meeting together and also the town’s cemetery.

The Mountains & The Cemetery
The Cemetery as their background
My most favorite shots...........

The "Pang-teleserye" Pose
 >>>The St. Augustine Church<<<
at the entrance of the church
inside the cathedral

the altar
     The Saint Augustine Parish Church, commonly known as Bantay Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the Municipality of Bantay, Ilocos Sur province in the Philippines. The church is also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity (Nuestra Señora de La Caridad) housing the miraculous image of Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Charity, crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia on January 12, 1956. The church was named after its patron saint St. Augustine of Hippo.

     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. (from wikipedia)

part of the Biyahilo sa Norte - Escaped in Region 1

-----  Au revoir MJ 


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