I woke up at 4:30 AM during my third day in Ilocos. I decided to take some coffee so I got out of my overnight room and checked for the nearest convenience store. Had a talk with the locals and grabbed the opportunity to ask about the ways of touring some towns of Ilocos Norte. After 30minutes, I returned to my room and waited for the sun to come out. Around 5:30 when I decided to start my Laoag City tour. First stop was the Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag.
Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag
The 45-meter tall bell tower was built in 1612 by the Augustinian Friars with a typical construction of baroque structures found in Ilocos. The tower rises in four tiers and houses 6 bells of different sizes. A big bell on the third tier when rung can be heard in nearby towns. The tower was said to be sinking because a tale by old people mentions that a person on horseback once could enter its vaulted entrance without stopping. Now, a person of ordinary height has to stoop to enter thru the tower door.
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St. William’s Cathedral of Laoag
Few meters away from the bell tower is the St. William’s Cathedral of Laoag. St. Williams Cathedral was founded by the Augustinian Friars in 1580. Tried checking the interior of the church and I was amazed on how great the altar of the church was. One of the best altars I’ve ever seen. I heard songs of praises while walking towards the altar not knowing that a mass will be held. I got out of the cathedral immediately since I was not properly dressed for a mass.
Tobacco Monopoly Monument
I proceeded to the Laoag City Hall which is adjacent to the Tobacco Monopoly Monument. It was constructed at the foot of the Marcos Bridge to serve as a memorial to the lifting of the Tobacco Monopoly in 1881. At the side of the monument is the Marcos Hall of Justice. The building was used for the detention center of Ferdinand Marcos when he was accused of killing the political opponent of his father where he stood as his own lawyer. He had self-study inside his prison cell, allowed to take the bar exams and topped it.
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Museo Ilocos Norte
To end my city tour was checking Museo Ilocos Norte located at La Tabacalera. Unfortunately, the museum was already closed for the holidays. The gallery showcases vignettes of Ilocano culture. After the Laoag City tour, I hitched a bus going to Pagudpud.