Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bangued's Twin Town: Tayum

(This post is part of my Abra Townhopping last June 15, 2013)

Yes, I admit. There is no "Bangued's Twin Town" monicker yet. No one has used that monicker  before and I would be the first one... and I hope it would stick.

Why do I called Tayum like that? Bangued, as I have pointed out in this article could have been considered a heritage town if the red brick house ruins around the town proper where saved and restored. Nevertheless, there is still the Bangued Cathedral, San Lorenzo Chapel, the capitol and town hall and numerous remains of red brick houses that would qualify Bangued as such albeit on a lesser degree. That can also be said about Tayum. Aside from that, Tayum is just a town after Bangued (they are located side by side) making them a true twin... a Siamese twin at that.

You can reach Tayum through riding a tricycle. The terminal can be found few steps along the road at the right side of Abra Capitol. The fare is just 20 pesos for each passenger, that is if you are willing to wait for other passengers, otherwise, you have to pay 80 pesos on your own. In my case, I paid 60 pesos because there was another passenger also going to Tayum.

Tayum town proper is not found along the main highway. You should walk about 200 to 300 meters form the main highway to get to the town proper if you have arrived through jeepney. If you are riding a tricycle, you can just ask the driver to bring you to there.

I visited Sta Catalina of Alexandria Church first. This church has been inscribed by the National Commision for Culture and Arts (NCCA) to the list of the Philippine National Cultural Properties. It's one of the most significant gem Tayum has.

This Church was built in the early 19th century by the secular clergy to serve the Tinguian tribes and local populace in the area. It features palayok art motif that shows indigenous art embedded into a western architecture. At the right side yard of the church can be found a scale model of another church.

I have no idea what church this scale model is representing because clearly, it doesn't resemble the Tayum Church though I find it beautiful. It even has its own miniature version of a belfry. I just hope this scale model be made into a real church.

Church's right side, showing the church's buttresses and a monument dedicated
to one of the town 's former parish priest.
Across the church is an old house. From the stone foundation and pillars to the materials used in the creation and design of the windows, door, doorways and roof, one can already surmise that this house was also a remnant of the Spanish period. I just don't know the name of the old house or who owns it because there are no people in the place who I can ask that time.

Mary Barbero Park can be found few steps from the old house. The park is beautifully landscaped complete with nursery garden, a small man-made lagoon, grotto, skating rink, and basketball court surrounded with century old-acacia trees. The park was named after the wife of former Deputy Defense Minister Carmelo Barbero (who served during Marcos Regime and also became Abra's representative to the 6th and 7th congress).

A monument to the local heroes of Tayum

Century old Acacia trees giving shades and cool ambiance to the park-goer. 
In front of the plaza is the newly renovated Tayum Municipal Hall and the Legislative Building.

As I felt that my Tayum walking tour was already finished, I immediately hailed a passing  tricycle to bring me to Lagangilang, the next town. Little did I know that I have missed many things by doing that, things that I have just discovered when I was already writing this article.

One. There is another national cultural treasure in Tayum, the Teodoro Brillantes house, which is also serves as a museum. Said museum/ancestral house keeps collections and mementos of the Brillantes family with a strong reflection of Spanish culture (Biyahero Philippine Travel Portal).

Two. The ancestral house of Ex-Ambassador to Sri Lanka Rosario Carino was also in this town. The said ancestral house served as a refuge for Gabriela Carino Silang when she and her men fled from Ilocos Sur upon being overwhelmed by the Spanish troops. And yes, Rosario Carino is related to Gabriela because he is a direct descendant of Nicolas Carino, Gabriela's uncle (Perdigon, 2007). Today, the ancestral house also serves as a private museum that houses collections of paintings (Picasso, Juan Luna, Ghirlandaio, etc.), porcelains, antique sculptures, and other valuable artifacts. 

Three. The very church of Tayum has its own museum. 

I was really sad that I wasn't able to see these places (for Tayum Church, its museum) but at the same time amazed of the fact that a single town, frankly speaking unknown to many, holds three museums reflecting the past which is part of our history as a nation. That's when I decided, I will definitely go back to Tayum.


To know more about my Abra tour, you may visit the following posts:

The province that is open for all to explore: ABRA
The Abran Capital: Bangued
Abra's American-era town:  Lagangilang

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. Replies
    1. You should be ma'am. Your town is historical and a beauty to behold... :)

  2. Lots of churches, lots of history ang tindi talaga kuya Romel nainspire na ko mag tour-de-Philippines pagkagraduate :D Nakakatuwang madagdagan yung awareness ko sa ganito, hindi lang fliptopper ang Abra, bakasyon destination pa! *Aljon :)*