We are now on the last day of our Ilocos excursion. It’s the third day, and we were greeted with a cloudy morning. I had hoped that it will not rain nor it will be too hot throughout the day.
Sinking Bell Tower and Laoag Cathedral
We had our breakfast in a McDonald’s branch near the Laoag Cathedral. You can also see the Sinking Bell Tower in the area.
The Laoag Cathedral is also known as St. William Cathedral. It was built in 1612, replacing a chapel. I must say that it is beautiful, presenting an Italian Renaissance design.
Not far from the cathedral is the Sinking Bell Tower. Erected around 1707, it is composed of mainly bricks, molasses, lime and sand. It got its name from an old story that it used to stand taller than it is now. Legends say that a man riding a horse could enter the tower with no problems, but due to the tower’s continuous “sinking”, a normal person needs to crouch first to be able to enter successfully.
La Paz Sand Dunes
After breakfast, we headed to the sand dunes. And you guessed it right, it’s sand everywhere!
Sand boarding and riding ATVs are the activities that you could do in the area. But we did neither.
Pagburnayan Jar Making
This is the thing I am most excited about the trip. I get to create a jar out of clay with my own hands. Yey!
The name of the place came from the local word Burnay, which means non-glazed earthen jar. This art has been around way before the Spaniards dominated the area. It was brought by Chinese settlers. Products back then were used to contain drinks. Now, the jars are mostly used to ferment brown sugar, in order to come up with sugar cane wine. It is also used to store fish sauce.
After molding the clay into something, it’s supposed to be put in a kiln to harden it. According to the staff there, it could take a week for me to bring home my “masterpiece”.
A concrete example of preserved Spanish colonial town, the village was placed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle is commonly known as Vigan Cathedral.
Remember our first day in Ilocos when we first got a glimpse of Calle Crisologo? We went there again and witnessed how it looked like during day time.
Of course, we won’t be leaving Ilocos without tasting their famous empanada.
30 minutes before we leave for Manila, we decided to do one of those Kalesa tours. Kalesa is a carriage driven by a horse. I wish we did it earlier because it is supposed to be an hour worth of ride. The coachman would take us around the town while narrating the significance of every place we go to.
Our first stop is the Bantay Church. We already went here during our first day when we went to see the Bantay Bell Tower. The church was closed that time, but now it’s open.
Old Provincial Jail Museum
Next is the Old Provincial Jail Museum. This jail is where the former Philippine president Elpidio Quirino was born. His father was serving as a warden back then when his mother gave birth to him on the second floor of the building. Now, it is a museum where it houses Elpidio’s memorabilia. The first floor contains paintings from the Basi Revolt.
The former president sure knows his stuff.
Due to running out of time, we cut our kalesa tour short. We were unable to explore the building’s first floor where the paintings can be seen.
And that wraps up our Ilocos adventure.
How about you? Have you ever rode a traditional vehicle before? Let me know about them by commenting below!