January 13, 2013

The guard on a hill

The town of Bantay in Ilocos Sur is best known for its 1590 church and bell tower, which was also the site of a battle fought by the revolutionary Diego Silang and his men against the troops of the Spanish colonial government in 1763.
 St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur Named St. Augustine Church, after the Augustinian friars who established the parish, the church is also the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity.
 separate bell tower of St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur The bell tower stands on top of a hill some distance away from the church.
 the bell of St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur Tourists are allowed up the tower (using some scarily rickety stairs), where the guide will invariably point out that the historic bell was used in the filming of the popular local action fantasy movie Ang Panday (The Blacksmith). Unfortunately, I can no longer remember if he was referring to the 1980 film starring the late Fernando Poe Jr. or the 2009 and 2011 films starring Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.
 view from the bell tower of St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur view from the bell tower of St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur view from the bell tower of St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur According to an Ilokano friend, the word bantay means "hill" in their language. The word also exists in Tagalog, where it means "guard" or "to guard," which is also appropriate because the tower has commanding views of the town, the not-so-distant West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), and the distant Cordillera mountain range.

3 comments:

Barbara Farr said...

Nice vies from that bell tower.

Lowell said...

I don't think I've ever seen a bell tower built away from a church...very interesting. I found the historical info most interesting, too.

Did you hear about the priest who was in his office one day when a bum walked in to beg for money? The priest said no to the money but told him he could ring the bell in the bell tower but had to use his head 'cause there was no rope. If he did that for a day the priest would give him some money.

So the guy left for the bell tower. A little while later the priest heard a commotion outside and went to investigate. A crowd had gathered around a man lying on the ground. They told the priest he had fallen out of the bell tower and was dead.

Then they asked the priest if he knew the man.

The priest looked at the prone figure intently and said, finally, and slowly:

"No, I don't think so. But his face rings a bell!"

richies said...

Looks like an awesome place to visit. I love places with history.


An Arkies Musings