UNESCO site : checked.
Another crazy journey hunting for our 3rd UNESCO site and 2nd cluster of baroque churches.
Other entries on UNESCO sites in the Philippines
Vigan at night | Philippines (#UNESCO)
San Agustin Church / Paoay Church, Philippines (#UNESCO)
I only have one tip for everyone, if you want to appreciate the Philippines (aside from their beautiful islands), I sincerely encourage you to explore outskirt of Manila. It offers better activities, sites, culture, history, even the landscape and vegetation will leave you gawking (in awe). Somehow, they are more friendly and honest, and helpful when you travel beyond Manila.
I never know nor understand (until this trip) when my Philippines travel blogger friend say "you have not seen Philippines, we are not just Manila and Boracay, nor Sulu". "We have more to offer" says one of them, with 5000 islands (yes. Five thousands, kid you not!) under their governance; #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines tourism tagline captures it all. Trust me.
Our 4 hours journey was greeted by this small and lonely church, I would have not guessed that it is UNESCO gazetted it weren't for Edgar. Briefed clearly by him, 2 sites to look forward to, the Santa Maria Church itself and a ruined Spanish-era cemetery; if we can find it. Errr.... ok.
Being adventurous is one thing, going into a ruined cemetery, hemmmm....
The steps give a grandeur feel. Brought back sweet memories; Rome's Spanish Steps.
I noticed (but the rest did not), the wind flow is directly towards this steps and the church hence lazing here is a bliss. With mobile phone one one hand, and a lime juice on another, I can lepak at the steps for few hours.
The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion), commonly known as the Santa Maria Church is the parish church of Santa Maria in Ilocos Sur province, Philippines. The church was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993 as part of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, a collection of four Baroque Spanish-era churches.
Unlike other town churches in the Philippines, which conform to the Spanish tradition of sitting them on the central plaza, the Church and Convent of Our Lady of the Assumption in Santa Maria are situated on a hill surrounded by a defensive wall on all sides like a fortress. The church is reached by climbing an 85-step stairway of granite rock. The grand three-flight stairway leads to a courtyard in front of the church doorway where a sweeping view of the lower plains and the town of Santa Maria is beheld. A narrow roadway coming from the back of the church also leads up to the courtyard but only used on special occasions.
We managed to peep and take a few pics.
Hills surrounding Santa Maria Church.
A votive candle.
The eastern and western side of the outer walls are reinforced by thirteen huge rectangular buttresses each typical of Earthquake Baroque architecture (Wikipedia).
After covering the church, Edgar said, let's look for the ruined Spanish-era cemetery. We did the best thing a girl should do, we send Edgar to cover the ground and search for the cemetery. Ahaks.
Edgar - the Braveheart (kerja giler tak?).
Tadaaaa.... yup. We found it, despite that I reluctantly followed them, by no means I would want to miss this little adventure of ours. Being my usual curious cat lah.
I only took pictures of the outside, no tombstone pics nor graveyard pics from me. No way. Isk.