Ilocos Sur Philippines Promotes Pilgrimage Tourism

Written on November 3, 2007 – 2:09 pm | by Etravel |

Ilocos Sur is known in the country to have centuries old churches that were built in the Spanish Era. These centuries-old churches are popularly known as the baroque churches. It is also noted that the centuries old churches have rich historical backgrounds and are a testimony to the culture, tradition, life and times of the Ilocanos. This is why people in all walks of life in the Philippines come here in Ilocos Sur especially during Holy Week for pilgrimage.

The local government in Ilocos Sur prioritize the Pilgrimage Tourism in the province. The province has eight wonder churches, this will attract visitors and tourist and a great opportunity for pilgrimage tourism. In this, the Governor of Ilocos Sur, Deogracias Victor “DV” B. Savellano, is making his best effort promoting the Pilgrimage Tourism in the province of Ilocos sur. The Governow is showcasing the centuries-old, baroque churches.

The eight churches that the Governor is showcasing that are attractive and world class and are also miraculous and has a very rich historical and cultural heritage are the Sta. Lucia Church in Sta. Lucia town, the Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, the shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad in Bantay town, the St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Vigan City, the Simbaan a Bassit in Vigan City, the San Vicente Church in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, the Church of St. William the Hermit in Magsingal town and the Shrine of Santo Cristo in Sinait town.

Promoting Pilgimage Tourism in Ilocos Sur means job more job opportunity

Local government in Ilocos Sur believes that it could create more jobs and businesses when pilgrimage tourism will be realized in the region. In Pilgrimage Tourism, it will increase the revenue of the provincial government. In the vacinity of the eight historical centuries-old churches, souvenir shops will be constructed that will selling and displaying religious items such as prayer books, images and other artifacts to highlight the churches’ historical significance. Literature on the churches will also be developed to help in tour guides and further re–orient the local and foreign tourists on the significance of these places.

The eight churches that will be prioritized in the Pilgrimage Tourism for their unique heritage

1. The Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad in Bantay town – This church is home to the venerated Lady of Charity, patroness of Nueva Segovia.

2. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Vigan City – This church has a marker that shows that the original church was a chapel made of wood and erected in 1574 on orders of Juan de Salcedo, the conquistador and founder of Villa Fernandina (now Vigan).

3. San Vicente Church – The parish was established in 1795 and it has two layers of columns divided by ornate architraves. The ornate wooden pulpit is still preserved.

4. Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Sta. Maria town – This church was built by the Augustinians with an 82-step stairway in 1765. This church gives visitors a good panoramic scenic view ofthe town and the green fields and the blue sea in the horizon. This church served as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution in 1896. The Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Sta. Maria town was designated as a National Historical Landmark on Sept. 26, 1982, and was included in the World Heritage List on Dec. 11, 1993.

5. Sta. Lucia Church in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur – This church is known for its Renaissance–style architecture highlighted by a dome. Consoles projecting downward from the cornice make the church façade attractive. A four-storey tower with a mini-dome at the top stands to the right side of the church façade.

6. The Shrine of the Sto. Cristo Milagroso in Sinait town – This chruch is an attraction to visitors and tourist due to its centuries-old statue of the crucified Christ.

7. The Church of St. William the hermit in Magsingal town – This church was classified by experts as Baroque because of the existence of its antique wooden altar (retablo).

8. The Simbaan a Bassit in Vigan City is a cemetery chapel – Historian Alberto Lacsamana writes that the “uniqueness of the chapel lies in its being the only one in the region having an espadaña hung with bells.” A statue of the crucified Christ is found behind the main altar. The chapel’s marker bears that the cemetery was blessed by Rev. Vicente Barreiro on Nov. 9, 1852 but the chapels interior now looks modern with all the repairs done through the years.

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