Standing tall atop a small hill is the Bantay Bell Tower, a centuries-old church belfry that has become a favorite among tourists. Located in the municipality of Bantay right next to its local church, the Bantay Bell Tower previously served as a watchtower for the town and for the nearby capital city of Vigan during the Spanish colonial period, protecting both areas from pirates and other enemies.
The Bantay Bell Tower gives tourists a glimpse of Ilocos Sur’s colorful history, as the tower has stood firmly on top of the hill since 1591. Not only is the tower an architectural marvel, it’s also a lasting symbol of how the area has remained steadfast in the face of various threats.
As it was used as a watchtower several centuries ago, Bantay Bell Tower offers an unforgettable view of Ilocos Sur that you can’t miss. See the municipality of Bantay and the city of Vigan from a unique perspective, and snap a photo of the faraway mountains that complete the panoramic landscape.
After basking in the view, tourists can also visit the nearby Bantay Church, which now uses the tower as a belfry. Established a year before the tower in 1590, Bantay Church gives visitors the opportunity to unearth even more of Ilocos Sur’s history and culture.
From the Vigan city proper, the Bantay Bell Tower is only a 10-minute ride away. You will need to go up several sets of stairs for the full experience, but the view at the top is more than worth it!