UNESCO World Heritage Site: Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is the official designation to a collection of four Spanish-era churches in the Philippines, upon its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. They are also one of the most treasured in the Country. The collection is composed of the following:

  • San Agustin Church in Manila
  • Santa Maria Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
  • San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
  • Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

These churches have been at the forefront of Philippine history, not just in furthering Christianity in the archipelago, but in serving as the political backbone of Spanish colonial rule, when Church and State were regarded as one. The unique architecture of the churches didn’t just reflect the adaptation of Spanish/Latin American architecture to the local environment (including the fusion with Chinese motifs), but also of the Church’s political influence. These churches had been subject to attacks by local revolts and rebellions, hence, most had the appearance of a fortress, rather than just serving as mere religious structures. This is especially noteworthy in the case of Santa Maria Church, located on top of a hill, serving as a citadel during times of crisis. Miag-ao Church also withstood the occasional attacks of Muslims from the south. Further, the location of the Philippines along the Pacific Ring of Fire called for the emphasis on the buttresses and foundations of these churches, with some being seriously damaged, but eventually rebuilt after an earthquake

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The Extreme Northern Loop – August 11, 2012

I’ve been missing out on all the riding action lately. Busy with a lot of stuff…and busy planning my next ride.

So here it is The Extended Northern Luzon Loop: Manila – Bulacan – Pampanga – Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union – Ilocos Sur – Abra – Ilocos Norte – Apayao – Cagayan – Isabela – Quirino – Nueva Vizcaya – Benguet (via Aritao) – Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija – Bulacan – Manila.

My very own 15 province tour. I plan on visiting mostly museums in this trip, and capture pictures of memorabilia hundreds of years old.

Hoping for good weather this time. Continue reading

Northern Luzon Loop – First Timer – Solo Ride – Signal No. 2 – 1291 km

I’ve always been intrigued by the North Loop, based on the posts I’ve seen in the internet that is why I have long been planning to do a Loop around the Northern part of Luzon.

Took off at July 30, 4 AM. Plan was to take the counter-clockwise route passing through Bulacan then Nueva Ecija. I have previewed it before by going as far as Ilagan, Isabela so I knew what to expect until that point, since the ideal 1st night is to be spent in Tuguegarao, which was ‘only’ 90 kms away from Ilagan.

Spectacular scenery definitely. The ride started to get exciting once I got past San Jose in Nueva Ecija (maybe 150 kms into the trip).

Spectacular sceneries indeed… would have been a much much enjoyable and safer trip if not for the Tropical Storm Jolina heading my way. I have traveled a lot in the past solo, but doing a North loop right in the eye of the storm truly made this expirience one of my most memorable ones, in terms of motorcycle riding.

Allow me to share some of my pictures from my recent trip – July 30 to August 2, 2009. I don’t know where to start since I have a lot of pictures to share (pasensya na, consider this as my North Loop blog), so I’ll go through the story per province.

As I’ve said, left Villamor Airbase close to 4 pm and arrived in Gapan a little past 6 am.

NUEVA ECIJA

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Nueva Ecija arc

NUEVA VIZCAYA

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Nueva Vizcaya Arc

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Daang Maharlika Highway Boundary

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