Bantay, Ilocos Sur
After that awesome lunch, Ria and I took a tricycle (motorcycle with side car for the passengers) going to Bantay Church. It was a cloudless, hot, sunny afternoon, but this part of the trip was something I hope for her to see because I consider this as one of the most beautiful looking churches I have visited.
This wasn't the first time I blogged about this church, so for history and some facts about the church, please check my old post HERE. For this post, let me share images.
Of course, first thing we did was to visit the church to say our prayers. It is really important for us to say our deep gratitude for the chance to travel.
The look inside the church is very simple, but I really like it. The lines and the arches are just so pretty!
I told Ria that the image of St. Augustine at the center of the altar can be rotated to "meet" her guests. Thankfully, one man saw us and guided us to the back of the altar. It is typical for the big churches to have this space at the back part of the altar for the church goers to touch the image, but this was the only church I know of that allows church goers to see the image face to face.
The same man guided us to the Belfry. He told us some historical facts about the belfry, but I wasn't able to jot it all down (as I didn't bring my notebook and pen). What I do remember is that this tower was used as a way to look out for Spanish soldiers attacking the place.
Tourists are allowed to enter the belfry up to the topmost area where the bells are located, but because this part of the tower is quite small, only a few people are allowed to go up at a time. Normally, they allow the whole group to enjoy a few minutes while the others are just below waiting for their turn.
There are different bells having their own purpose. One is used during weddings, one for funerals, one for the Sunday mass. The view at the top was so pretty...
...but the graffiti was just disheartening. I remember, a few months before this trip, my cousin went here and the bells were cleaned of the graffiti, but when we got there, the bells had a lot of writings and the wooden plank floor had a lot of etchings. Totally disrespectful to the history and value of the structure, but I guess some people are just plain insensitive.
I am just thankful that there are now tour guides who watches over the guests to prevent them to write on the walls and the bells.