"Bantay: Vigan's beautiful neighbor" Bantay by joiwatani

Bantay Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 21 photos

The Bantay Church

Bantay, Ilocos Sur is a small town close to Vigan City. This town is popularized more because of its Bell Tower that is perched on top of a hill. You can't missed it when you take the national highway going south of the province of Ilocos Sur. Bantay has also an elaborate church. The Bantay Catholic Church is beautiful. It was built during the Spanish period (1530s). The architectural design is influenced by the Europeans although it was built under the Spanish regime by the local people. This church was built through forced labor and slavery during the Spanish period.

The Bantay Bell Tower

You can't miss seeing the bell tower if you are heading North of the Philippines like Vigan, Laoag City or Paoay, Ilocos Norte. There is only one way to get to these places which is driving through the National Highway. And when you drive to this highway, you will definitely pass by Bantay, Ilocos Sur. It is a small town beside Vigan. The landmark of Bantay is its beautiful church and the bell tower. You know that you are in Bantay when you see to your right will be the bell tower - a three-century old bell tower- standing tall on top of a hill!

Climbing the bell tower

The residents of Bantay, Ilocos Sur are mostly Roman Catholics. Since the Philippines were colonized by the Spaniards for over 350 years, they converted most of the people to Catholicism. The Spaniards built so many churches throughout the region. Every bigger town in Ilocos Sur has huge cathedral churches and bell towers.

I haven't heard the ringing of the bell tower of Bantay. I am not sure whether the church people still use it to call people to go to church. In the old days, the bell towers in most Catholic Churches in the Philippines were rang daily by the "sakristans" (priests' assistants) early in the morning at six o'clock to call people to go to church. Then, the bell is rang again at night at six o'clock at night to remind people to pray.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice small town's landmark
  • Cons:No other place to visit except the church and the bell tower!
  • In a nutshell:When you go to Vigan, you can't miss this landmark!
  • Last visit to Bantay: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 9, 2007
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joiwatani

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