This is one of the Must See when you are in Laoag - anyway you will not missed it as it is located right in the heart of the town of Laoag, along one of the busy main streets. The write-up of the Sinking Bell Tower :-
The centuries old bell tower of 45metres in height was built by the Augustine Friars in 1612 and is one of the tallest and most massive building in the country.
The construction is typical of the earthquake baroque structures found in Ilocos. Built with old bricks and stone-faced with lime stucco plaster, the tower rises in 4 tiers. The base with its massive rounded corners supports the graduated upper tiers noted for its graceful curved buttresses and corner treatments, giving it its early baroque appearance. The tower is crowned by a double dome topped with a cross.
Access to the top is through a vaulted tunnel leading to a winding wooden stairway. At the top are 6 bells of different sizes. A big big bell on the 3rd tier when rung can be heard in nearby towns.
Tales by old people mentioned that a person on horseback once could enter the vaulted entrance without stooping. Now an ordinary height has to stoop to enter through the tower door because the tower has sunk considerably and evenly, thus its reputation "The Sinking Bell of Laoag"
See attached pictures of vaulted entrance.
The Museo Ilocos Norte - Laoag's Museum is located along Gen Antonio Luna St. It is an old corner lot building next to a grand hotel (can't remember the name of the hotel). You can either walk there or hop on a kalesa or tricycle (about 7.5pesos ride).
It is a two storey building, displaying lots of antiques and artifacts. It is also structured in a such a way that there's a stairways to the second floor showing the living quarters of Ilocanos : the hall, bedroom, living room and the kitchen. When we were there, an exhibition on the kalesa was held, so once you enter the museum you will hear a recorded sound of the kalesa "click-clad, click-clad". A good write-up on the history of the kalesa and a kalesa is being displayed... sorry, a wooden horse, not a real one..ha.ha.ha.
Museum hours : Mondays to Saturdays 9am - 12noon, 1pm to 5prm (closed on Sundays)
Entrance fee : general admission 20pesos
See more pictures of the Museum in my Travelogue "Museo Ilocos Norte"
Before taking our flight to Manila, I took the time to see some of the sites of Laoag City. There is so much to see in Ilocos, so have a good itinerary if you want to make most of your time here even in a single visit.
Roaming around the city, I spotted this structure that has an old design. Unlike the other modern office buildings, this one is different with its old spanish architecture.
St. William's Cathedral a.k.a Church of Laoag is located across the street from the Sinking Bell Tower. It is majestic in structures with huge colums of pillars supporting the building. The Church is painted in a soothing cream. There is a school next to the Cathedral, as such you will see lots of children there and lots of tricycles ferrying children to/fro school.
St.William's Cathedral was originally the site of a chapel of wood and thatch which was built when the Augustinian Friars founded the Parish in 1580. It was replaced by this Church of Italian Renaissance; foundation laid in 1612. It was damaged by fire in 1843 and was restored. It was also occupied by revolutionists in 1898 and American Forces in 1899.
See more pictures attached of close-ups and structures of St.William's Cathedral
When in Laoag spare time to visit the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol o an evening. It's a hodge-podge of tacky and interesting. :) On one hand the capitol itself is a good solid building, there are refreshing fountains in front and a "japanese garden" (aka Museo vivo de Iloko) filled with bonsai on the left side of the capitol. On the other hand they have these funny looking electric "sakura trees" which locals find worth posing in front of. :)
Built in 1612 by the Augustinians, this cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Laoag. Has an Italian Renaissance architecture.
It was a Sunday and unfortunately the Museum is closed, Anyway, I'd love to share with you some photos outside the Museum.
there is a wall in rizal park in laoag that climbers can use at a minimal price. the park is located accross the marcos stadium next to the MMSU Laboratory High School.
Anyone can use the swimming pool at the Rizal park for a minimal fee. The pool is part of the public park upgraded by Gov. Imee Marcos. It is located right across the Marcos Stadium.
For your reading needs and gifts visit Samtoy Bookstore at the 2nd Floor of the Tabacalera next to the Museo Iloko. They also rent books out by the hour. :)
I have always been curious about this bell tower. Visit this site and see it for yourself, the main door is now buried halfway below ground level.
I was here on a day before Christmas, unfortunately, the museum was closed. I only got to admire the museum's old structure, which was formerly a tabacalera warehouse.