Thursday, August 1, 2013

Magsingal : A Town of Wanderers

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

Magsingal Belfry. Ilocos Sur.
The town proper of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur is one of the most noticeable town propers along the highway connecting Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. From the bus, a traveler will be able to see Magsingal's beautiful town hall, a century-old church, and a branch of the Philippines' National Museum. 

It was said that the town name "Magsingal" came from an Ilocano term "Managsinggal" meaning, "wanderer" to refer to the nomadic way of life of the Itnegs and Tingguians who first settled (or maybe, wandered) in the place even before the arrival of the Spanish in the Philippines (Ilocandia Realtor). Upon learning the origin of the town's name, I can't help to smile alone and thought that this town will be best for me because it is the town of "wanderers"... :)

Museum and belfry markers. Magsingal, Ilocos Sur.
The first thing I saw upon arriving in the town (coming from the town of Cabugao) is an imposing four-tiered Spanish-era belfry. The belfry mightily stands alone, and I actually mistook the nearby old looking structure near it as the town church. Upon checking, the structure I thought to be the town church turned out to be Magsingal Museum, a branch of the National Museum in Ilocos Region.

Magsingal Museum. Ilocos Sur.
Because of being a history buff, museums are strong magnet for me. That's actually one of the reason I have included Magsingal in my itinerary that day. Unfortunately, the museum is closed because that was a Sunday (the museum is open from Monday to Friday) so I was not able to see what's inside. What I did is just to take a picture of the museum because the structure itself is also historical : it was once the convent of the century-old Magsingal Town Church.

Magsingal Museum. Ilocos Sur.
The museum also looks old that's why I thought it was the town church at first. But if I had just really analyzed it, it couldn't have been the town church judging from the huge belfry in front of it which also should have a big church to complement it. The museum/convent is built with bricks while some parts of the facade is plastered but was left unpainted.

Magsingal Town Hall. Ilocos Sur.
In front of the belfry and museum, across the road, can already be seen the beautiful town hall. The Magsingal town hall was designed to look like a Spanish casa real while a nicely landscaped garden was built in its front. It was beautifully made that no one would pass along the highway who won't notice it, especially when a conspicuous stone marker bearing the name of the town at its side announces that a traveler is already at Magsingal town proper. On the right side of the town hall is a spacious yard where, I assume, town events are being held. 

Magsingal Town Hall facade. Ilocos Sur.
Just at the same side of the road where the belfry and museum can be found the San Guillermo de Aquitania Church (Church of St. William the Hermit), Magsingal's town Church. The church is also big and from the design, one can already conclude that it is an old church. 


San Guillermo Aquitania Church. Magsingal Town Church. Ilocos Sur.
The church was closed when I got there so I wasn't able to check the church's interior. It was a disappointment for me because I came there to also see its antique wooden altar and three-tiered retablo. Because I've got no choice, I just checked out the church's surrounding and other external parts.

Left side part of Magsingal Church. Ilocos Sur.
The church also has large buttresses just like some other churches of the Ilocos Sur though its buttresses are not those flying type but just vertical ones. From the walls of the church can be glimpsed its true age because of the bricks used and overgrowth of mosses though large part is already plastered. Attached on the church's right side is the parish office (though it looks more like a convent to me).


Magsingal Church and Parish Office. Ilocos Sur.
This church is actually one of the 26 Spanish-era churches declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum in the year 2001. Because of that, conservation efforts where put forth to ensure that this church will still remain standing for a long time, to be seen by the coming generation. It now explains those wall plasterings and other newer repairs I have seen when I visited the church. I hope that this church, along with all Magsingal historical and cultural buildings, will be able to stand the test of time and continue to be a silent witness to the town, and the nation's history.

From Magsingal, I continued my journey south to the overshadowed but very beautiful town of San Vicente.


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23 comments :

  1. Love taking pictures of churches and their bell towers too. We have lots of old ones here in the Philippines that are still well maintained.

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    1. That's true ma'am! Nakakatuwa nga po at marami pang na-preserve na beautiful churches ang Pilipinas though nakakalungkot din dahil marami na rin ang tuluyang nasira thorugh natural cause o dahil sa pakikialam ng mga walang concern sa history at culture...

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  2. Wow the town of Magsingal in Ilocos Sur is so full of heritage! I might visit the place on my Ilocos trip. :)

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  3. thanks for sharing!! i've been to Ilocos and your photos made me remember my unforgettable trip

    leira

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  4. There are really a lot of old churches, bridges and the bell tower. I was able to visit the Bell Tower a few years ago.

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  5. Love it! #TownExplorer
    Reading through you post, its like you are talking to yourself.
    I can well imagine what you are feeling, well just a little dynamic.
    I love exploring towns too, act more like an outsider looking at a window just to see a glimpse.. makes it a little more curious.
    these stone edifices are lovely.. the museum looks really interesting, too bad you werent able to check inside.. A good photograph with the ambient light inside might have given more depth.
    The belfry is something else, I may want to visit this place for that and for the historic church.

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    1. While reading your comment Francis, I think you were confused with San Josenyong Gala vs. EDMARATION #TownExplorer hehehe --- maybe because both of us (Romel and me) love town-hopping. However, I'm not owning that tagline and it's not registered to me. LOL! Romel is indeed a professional #TownExplorer too! No Doubt! Cheers!

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    2. ipa-trademark na natin yung #TownExplorer brod? Hehe... Pwede rin #TownHopper... :)

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  6. I really luv your photos! Never been to any province in North Luzon but I am bookmarking your post now- hopefully before this year ends maka isa man lang ako :)

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    1. Thanks sir! Tara sir, gala tayo! Laoag sir, hindi pa ko ulit nakakabalik dun... :)

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  7. The church exterior looks so modernize, they should have retain its original color to preserve its antiquity.

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    1. That would have been good sir kaya lang po, kung hindi siya ipa-plaster, nadudurog po yung bato sa wall. At pag nagsimula na yung crumbling, magtutuloy tuloy na po yun masira...

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  8. been there a lot of times and I really like it, thats why i keep going back... hopefully the next time around that i will go there i will be able to take nice pics.

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  9. A trip to Ilocos Sur has always been in my bucket list thus I really like reading posts like this. It makes me want to see it more.

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  10. I guess I missed this when I went to Ilocos 2 years ago, I should go back to see Laoag this time. Thanks for the info.

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  11. There are indeed a lot of places to explore in our very own country. This is just one of them. I love Ilocos, specially the food and places like this

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  12. There are a lot of Spanish buildings namely churches and belfries all over the Philippines. Those are great shots of those buildings.

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  13. I wish na pagnakapagtapos na ko, makapunta din po ako dito. Mukhang exciting po bisitahin eh. Very beautiful photographs kuya Romel ! You really did a good job ! -Toffer Peña

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  15. We are going to Ilocos next month ata. Ilocos norte nga lang :D . Pero sana mapuntahan ko din tong mga 'to. Sheeeeeezzz. :))) Like ko yung Magsingal church. ~~ <3 Ganda ng exterior. I wonder what it looks like inside :)

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  16. Trip to Ilocos without spending money ,, but still I want to pursue my dream to travel around Philippines to see and witness the beauty of our Land of the Morning. ;)malay mo?
    -- Julie Ann Quiban

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  17. I WISH KUNG MAKAPUNTA AKO DYAN :) KAPAG MAKAPAG TAPOS AKO NG COLLAGE AS TREAT TO MYSELF :)
    -MA. EVETTE MISAGAL

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  18. THIS PLACE MUST VISIT TOURIST IN OTHER COUNTRY :) SURE NA MASUSULIT NILA ANG PUNTA DITO DAHIL SA MAGAGANDANG VIEW :)
    -MA. EVETTE MISAGAL

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