Probably, one of the best places to go to in Vigan, the Bantay Bell Tower (some locals call it Bantayan)
Bantay Bell Tower served as watch tower in the area during the 16th century. It is just a few meters away from a local church.
Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de La Caridad, in English, the Queen of Ilocandia are the two oldest structures in Ilocos Sur. The Bantay Bell Tower was built in 1590, while the St. Augustine of Hippo parish church in 1591.
Bantay Bell Tower can be reached via calesas or tricycle from Vigan in just minutes. (15 minutes via calesa and less via tricycle) and just minutes away from Baluarte.
If you go to the place, you can donate how much you would like to give, just to maintain the tower and the church. I am pretty sure that when you see the place, you would be more than glad to donate.
A local guide (Mr. Francis) will be more than glad to assist you for information and most of all – PICTURE TAKING. I mean, like our guide, who assisted Cristelle Torres of GirlandBoyThing.com to almost every “TRICK” shots that you can think of for the bell tower. Not surprisingly, he literally, knows it all.
It is best to go to Bantay Bell Tower during afternoon already, around 4pm for better appreciation of the place.
I just forgot to ask how high the Bantay Bell Tower is, but when on top of the Bantay Bell Tower, it gives a good view of the bell (of course), the church, some meters of residences, and a cemetery.
When going inside the Bell Tower, you just have to be careful, especially when going at the topmost floor, since the steps are made of wood already. Some steps are quite shaky already. But still, it the view and experience on the top is worth it.
It is just sad that some spots in the structure have vandalism of many sorts. 🙁
But still, it is worth the trip going to Bantay Bell Tower.