We had a wonderful, filling Vigan breakfast that morning thanks to Hannah’s recommendation. Since we have some time to spare as our rides are not here yet, we chatted a little, but laughed a lot. In between, I ran 4 flights of stair up and down twice to charge my dying iPod and get something from the room.
What a great way to exercise after having a fantastic breakfast. -.-“
Soon, we spotted our rides from the hotel’s cafeteria. I was super excited to take this ride. Eagerly, I walked out through the cafeteria’s door instead of the hotel’s entrance door. Lol! Sat, Hannah and I took the same calesa. It’s super hard to get up to the seat, and thankfully I brought pants instead of dress! Phew!
Riding the calesa is definitely the best way to see the town.
We were brought out of Vigan town, crossed the Govantes River to the nearby Bantay town for their beautiful church and famous belltower.
Bantay Church or St. Augustine Parish Church is not situated far from Vigan. In fact, it was barely 15-20 minutes ride from our hotel, Hotel Salcedo da Vigan. Just when I started to enjoy the ride, we’ve already reached the place. Our chocero (the calesa driver) parked at the side and waited for us there. We walked up the ramp leading to the church and voila, the Bantay Church!
On our left is the famous Bantay bell tower, standing tall on top of a hill carpeted with green grass and beautiful blue sky as background despite being super sunny that day. The bell tower looks absolutely breathtaking.
Love the blue sky. Love how the cloud appeared as tho it came out from the bell tower! <3
There’s also a shrine dubbed the Our Lady of Charity Shrine in front of St Augustine Parish Church on our left.
We took few shoots from afar and then walked into the church. May and I spotted a signboard beside the entrance and then looked at each other. We were wondering if we were allowed to enter as we were in short pants and slippers. Daniel then walked to our side and asked why were we standing there. We then asked him if we could enter the church in this attire.
He then laughed and then said, “Enterla. I also in shorts and slippers what.”
We then pointed to the signboards showing the No Singlet, No Shorts, No Slippers. He quickly added, “That’s for the masses. Off mass period, you can wear like this and enter.”
We gave an Oh! and then entered. The church is big! The ceiling is so high up.The black chandelier looks gothic-ly nice! Hee!
May and I didn’t venture deep into the church. We were afraid that we enter the church without permission, so we just stood somewhere near the entrance and looked around.
At the side, there’s a small room where coffin of Jesus Christ is. David and Daniel actually walked in first, followed by Aaron and May and I. Still we stood from afar to take picture.
After that we went out.
We took group photo at the gate of the bell tower with the bell tower so far behind us. Lol. We wanted to take group photo in front of the church, but the sun was behind the church and we’ll be dark if we insist of taking. Probably could only see our teeth. Lol.
Done photographing, we went straight up the hill.
Being such a puteri lilin, I quickly took out my umbrella to shield me against the strong sun rays. Halfway walking, I saw a bee flying in circle and I carefully walked to the side to avoid it. When I reached the stairs leading to the bell tower, I was sweating like mad. It was really hot that day. +_+
I remembered vainly posed with my umbrella for the rest at the stairs leading to the bell tower despite sweating like a cow under the hot sun.
We went up the brick spiral stairs and stopped to take a breather at the first floor.
Boy were I glad it was windy in the tower as there are like 4 open windows there. I leaned my back against the lower wall where the open window is. Then Hannah told us that we can see the South China Sea from the West facing window. I was leaning on the window of the East side, so I could vaguely see the thick blue line at the horizon.
From the first floor, there’s a spiral iron staircase leading to the top of the bell tower. There’s no handrail and you can only hold onto the centre iron pole for support. It is easy to go up, but rather difficult to get down if you’re afraid of height.
But it’s a must to go to the top; as it promises great and spectacular view of the surrounding area. The South China Sea can be easily spotted from the top too. On the East, one can see mountain ranges and also many sizes of rectangularish blocks on an area.
Curiously, I asked Hannah on the blocks and she told me that is the cemetery for the public. +_+
There’s a big iron bell in the middle (it’s a bell tower what ) and I was wondering why didn’t I take any picture with the bell?! *smacked forehead *
Satisfied with the pictures I took on top, I slowly descending down the iron stairs and the brick stairs. Then I walked down the hill, heading to our calesa parked at the side. When the choceros saw us coming, they quickly went to their respectively calesa.
I had minor scar while going up the calesa. My left shin accidentally brushed against the hard uneven rubber wheel. Ah, clumsy me. T_T
After everyone seated on their calesa, we left Bantay for Vigan city tour. Wall advertisements caught my eyes, or rather my camera lens. Lol!
We passed some local schools and noticed that they have unique school uniforms. Each school produces their own uniform, unlike our country where all of us wear the same uniform.
We stopped by Pagburnayan (a famous local pottery making factory) but didn’t get down. We were told there’s nothing special there except for making pottery yourself. We wanted to try, but the pottery making process would take 1-2 hours and time is something that we didn’t really have. So we decided to skip this place.
Then our calesa brought us to the Burgos Museum where the famous priest, Jose Burgos stayed. I thought of getting down to have a quick look at the museum, but in the end we didn’t do so. So we moved to the next place.
We went past few awesome looking building, and museums but we didn’t stop by.
We did list down all the places to see, but when we showed the chocero, he mentioned that we’ve visited/past them all. Wtfish right? I know.
Hearing that, we asked our chocero to bring us back to the hotel. We paid 150 pesos (RM11) for an hour service.
Unsatisfied, I told Sat that I wanna do more exploration on foot! Reluctantly, he agreed and he asked if the rest wanted to follow or take a rest at the hotel. As all are the adventurous type, we directly walked towards Calle Crisologo which is a street away from our hotel.