Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Walking Tour around Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

(This is part of my Ilocos Sur townhopping last June 15-16, 2013)

Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur has always been known as the town where one of the four Baroque Churches inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list can be found. But aside from the famous Santa Maria Church, there are other heritage structures still standing in this historic town for everyone to see.

I was greeted by a conspicuous town plaza arch upon arriving at the town. Said arch serves as the entrance to the town's spacious plaza where town events are held.


At one side of the plaza can be found a monument of three heroes standing around an obelisk, in a sole platform. I am guessing the three heroes are Antonio Luna, Jose Rizal and Padre Jose Burgos (one of the "Tatlong Paring Martir). The monument is beautifully made that anyone visiting the town proper will definitely notice it.


Just in front of the monument is the town hall. The hall is not an old building, as one (like me) would suspect, but a modern one. Because it was a Saturday then, the hall was closed and there are only a handful of people roaming around the town.

Santa Maria Town Hall
Upon having a short walking tour around the town proper, many old houses, distinctly pre-war (before 1935) in design can be found scattered around. I managed to take a shot of three of these houses.

I am actually not sure whether the first of the house is a house at all because it looks more like an old headquarters or a Spanish-era office to me. The design of the windows and the bareness of the wall also brings to fore an image of an old carcelar (prison). At some point, it also reminds me of Asilo de San Vicente, a school for orphans in the town of San Vicente though that one bears noticeable design in its walls, windows and pillar, unlike this one.  


Old House. Ilocos Sur.


The second of the houses can be found just before you reach the stairway landing of Santa Maria Church. This one is plastered but it was obviously made just with bricks before. Upon closer scrutiny, one will see that some of the plasters cracked and chipped revealing the original brick walls of the house.

Old House. Santa Maria. Ilocos Sur.


I asked the lady in the second house whether there are any other ancestral house near so she pointed me to a house at the side of the road perpendicular to the house she's taking care of. At first, I wasn't able to see the house because of the plants blocking the house's view but was able to see it when I walk closer to it. This third house is an unaltered red brick house with the roof still intact somehow. I ask the house's occupant if I can take picture of the house and they readily consented.

Old House. Santa Maria. Ilocos Sur.

The architecture is undeniably Hispanic. One can even notice the design in the house's doorway as well as its supporting pillar, and walls. The windows, just like in the second house, is made of Capiz shells though this one's windows already needs maintenance. 

Old House. Santa Maria. Ilocos Sur.
Unfortunately, one can easily determine that this house already needs major restoration to ensure that the next generation will be able to see it. I wasn't able to interview the occupants about the house but I can definitely see that the house already needs some serious attention from the expert. I can also deduce that the present occupants doesn't have the means to carry on with the house's restoration.

I hope Santa Maria Town Council has a project to preserve all its heritage structures so that they may be able to stand for many years to come. These heritage structures serve as a link to the past. If nothing is done, these links will one day all disappear leaving no traces of the town's history. 

After my short walking tour around the town of Santa Maria, I continued with my town hopping activity, on to the next town in my itinerary : Narvacan.

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To know more about my Ilocos Sur Tour, please keep posted for detailed posts about the different towns I have been to in the coming days. Thanks! 

For the meantime, visit:

A Blast from  the Past : Ilocos Sur
Sinait : A Town of Legend
Strolling around Cabugao, Ilocos Sur
Magsingal : A Town of Wanderers
San Vicente : the Barrio Destined to Become a Town
The Heritage City of Candon

19 comments :

  1. I always been attracted to historic house, but I won't live in any of them believing there are spirits who occupies in it. ala horror ang dating. hehe

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  2. If I am given only one choice as to the desired place to visit, it will definitely be Ilocos Sur. There is something so appealing and so telling of old structures.

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  3. The place is so inviting and i'd love to visit one day there

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  4. The old house reminds me of the 'oldest house' in Florida. It has somewhat the same style.

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  5. I wonder how old is that vintage house? I hope that it would be restored soon..

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  6. wow...very nice structure unfortunately needs some maintenance, that reminds me of the horror movies i used to watch in the philippines. those house do look familiar.

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  7. hope those other houses would be preserved too

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  8. Our government should put more budget in maintenance, restoration of buildings like this, this is our past, it tells so much about us.. great post!

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  9. Nice town to visit but I do know na maraming NPA dyan. Hope I'm wrong.

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  10. Those ancient houses look amazing! I hope they'll preserved as they're really good pieces of history. Thanks for sharing your good shots! I am so wondering what's that green leafy tree in the picture! Is that malunggay? Gosh, I want to harvest some right now! Lol.

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  11. The house is somewhat similar to those houses use for horror movies just like haunted houses, LOL. But of course in history, it has the big contribution right? Thanks for sharing.

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  12. There are so many pretty and interesting houses there. They are all full of character and I bet that they are also full of stories.

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  13. Nice house . That kind of house are my dream house , :))

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  14. Lovely share! Thanks for the virtual tour around Sta. Maria. Looks like the house is antiquated and to be able to preserve it, the government must allocate funds for maintenance para mapunta naman sa merong kuenta ang kaban ng bayan.

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  15. The place is really historical. It would have been really nice if the government did something to improve this place!

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  16. I always enjoy seeing old houses but I always have this feeling that they are haunted, hehe! Clear photos!

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  17. lovely and always have this itch to visit Ilocos Region again. you're so lucky and blessed to see these places. :)

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  18. Wow townhopping is really cool way to tour the town, appreciate the beauty of old houses, museums, churches, plazas. I love to travel and share information too.

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  19. Astig!. Proud to be a Filipino. :))

    -Tracey Mae Cea

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