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Bantay Bell Tower

Bantay Bell Tower

A ten to fifteen-minute kalesa ride from Calle Crisologo in the city of Vigan is the historic Bantay Belfry also known as Bantay Bell Tower  which sits on a hilltop overlooking a green pasture and the province of Abra, some even claim that most of Ilocos Sur can be seen from the tower. To enjoy the panoramic view of the land, flights of stairs must be climbed to access the entrance of the tower’s base guarded by a small gate; tourists are greeted by a huge, old bell upon reaching the top end of the tower.

The belfry was built in 1590; this magnificent structure is famous of its historical and cultural significance as it was used as a watchtower for pirates during the Spanish regime and gave the town its name “Bantay” which means “Guard”. Walking around the belfry is like stepping on the same grounds where Diego Silang and his troops were said to have fought with the Spaniards in 1763. It also served as watchtower for invading enemy forces during world wars I and II making use of its strategic location.

The Bantay Bell Tower was made popular among the local tourists by the well-known Filipino film Panday as its scenes were shot within and around the belfry.


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