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Information about Bantay Church Bell Tower

4.5
1124 Google reviews
Type
Religious Sites
Location
012 Rizal St, Bantay, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Distance From City Center
0.7 km
High Season
Winter
Family Friendly
No
Average rating
4.5
Number of reviews
1124

Bantay Church

Bantay Church in Ilocos

Bantay Church is a Roman Catholic church in the Ilocos town of the same name. Also known as the Saint Augustine Parish Church, it’s one of the oldest surviving churches in the region dating back to 1591. Bantay Church is also famed for its grand design and architecture inspired by Western and European cultures.

Bantay Church is a major part of the Philippine history, with the church’s belfry once serving as a watch tower.

This tower, which stands on the top of a hill just a short distance from the church, is where Filipinos guarding the Bantay and Vigan towns positioned themselves to see any impending attacks from foreign enemies. This is also how the town got its name, as bantay means “to guard.”

Bantay Church was built by Augustinian friars in the 1590s, but it was heavily damaged during World War II. Restoration efforts were made in 1950, and today, the church is on the list of must-see attractions in Ilocos Sur.

 

How to get there

Aside from riding a tricycle or jeepney going to the church, you can join a guided tour that will also take you to other destinations.

On your way to the Bantay Church Bell Tower, you’ll be climbing a series of stairs—one leading to the small gate at the base of the tower and the winding staircase inside the structure itself. From the top of the tower, you’ll see the vast expanse of Vigan, including the town of Bantay, the parish church, and the Vigan Heritage Village.

 

Best time to visit

It is an all-year round destination and is open daily which means you can pay a visit to the church anytime.

Frequently asked questions

What is the famous urban legend surrounding Bantay Church?

There are even legends that say that the Bantay Church Bell Tower was the favorite dating spot for the revolutionary couple Diego and Gabriela Silang.

What can you do at Bantay Church?

At Bantay Church, you can offer your petitions to the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, which is called Our Lady of Charity and which was crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia on January 12, 1956.

Is there a feast day celebrated at Bantay Church?

You can join the celebrations of the feast day of Our Lady of Charity, which takes place every second Sunday of January.

Is there a nearby tourist spot in Bantay Church?

Next to the church, you’ll find “Chapel by the Ruins,” an open air chapel where the original church structure stood before its WWII destruction. The chapel offers a quiet spot where you can reflect and meditate while appreciating the lovely little garden surrounding it. The statues around chapel include that of St. Augustine whose quote about traveling the world hangs by the site’s entrance.