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Lakbay Norte: The Lighthouse and Remnants of a Spanish Past

Ilocos is a noteworthy destination because of its lost in time feel of past and present. A drive or walk through the various municipalities will remind you of our connection to Spain (the good and bad they left). Several old churches and structures that date back hundreds of years ago make this province a good place to travel to over the weekend.

St. Augustine Church & Bantay Belltower

The St. Augustine or Bantay Church was established by the Spaniards in 1590, making it one of the oldest in the region.

World War 2 left the church in ruins, but restoration took place in the 1950s. The restored exterior follows a Neo-Gothic design. A walk through the church will remind you of the deeply rooted Catholicism in the region as well as other provinces in the Philippines.

The historic Bantay (meaning Guard) Tower served as a watchtower that Spaniards used to defend against pirates. The name of the town was derived from the structure that watched over it.

Juan Luna House

We must always remember the heroes who fought for us during the revolution. They shed their blood to fight for freedom and independence. None of them are saints, they all have shortcomings as people, but we must learn from their mistakes and create our own future.

This is the part where I say something about him, but there was a marker containing information about who Juan Luna is.

The tourism department of the province turned Luna's ancestral home into a destination.

Both Lunas (Juan and Antonio) had big personalities, particularly fits of anger, but were both integral to the Philippines' effort for independence from Spain and America. Understanding their warts and achievements will give us a glimpse of their humanity and how we can be just like them.

They were people, with a good and bad side, but their actions made them extraordinary.

Bagong Lipunan Lodge

Bagong Lipunan Lodge is an unfinished inn that a famous politician funded. This is not as historically significant as the many churches in the province, but it did have appeal. Its ruined and unfinished state give it a haunting appearance, its location (just off the main road before a cliff) gives it an eerie look as well. The structure also gave beautiful views of the coastline.

Cape Bojeador

The Spaniards built several watchtowers in various provinces, Cape Bojeador was just one of many.

When there is a watchtower there is a beautiful overlooking view of the area.

Laoag Sinking Belltower

Another noteworthy attraction is the Sinking Bell Tower in Laoag. The structure is literally below street level, making it a unique sight in the city.

Ilocos is a culture and historically-rich region, especially if you are interested in discovering our connection to Spain and what they left us.

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