Monday, November 22, 2010

Abra: Tayum Church, Bangued Cathedral & the Gabriela Silang Monument

Abra was the first province on my recent 1800-kilometer around North Philippines. I left Manila the previous evening and arrived in Abra just in time for sunrise. The roads were in relatively good condition and the views of the mountains, rice fields and the Abra River were picturesque.

Welcoming the visitor is a tunnel that was cut through a mountain. Above the tunnel entrance is the seal of Abra. Right beside the tunnel is a monument of Gabriela Silang. But I decided to stop on the way back since it was still a bit dark.

My first stop for the day was the Tayum Church, a National Cutlural Treasure. Tayum is about 10 minutes away from Bangued. Mass was still ongoing when I arrived.

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Tayum Church or Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria was built in the 19th century by the secular clergy among the Christianized Tinguians. Notice also the convento which is actually across the church.

From Tayum, I motored back to Bangued to visit the Bangued Cathedral. On the way, I was pleased to see some ancestral houses still standing. Many of these houses are made of brick, both first and second floors.

The Bangued Cathedral is also relatively preserved. Right beside it is its old convento which is now a school. But there is another church worth visiting and this is the Bangued Cemetery Chapel. Unfortunately, it was locked. So I wasn't able to see the interior.

On the way back down to Ilocos Sur, I stopped by the Gabriela Silang Monument in San Quintin. As we all know, Gabriela Silang was an insurgent leader who led the Ilocano freedom movement after the assassination of her husband Diego Silang on May 28, 1763. She was captured and executed by the Spanish on September 29, 1763.
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