Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Ways of the Old

The sight of the cobblestone streets.
The grandeur of mixed oriental and colonial European architecture.
The feel of polished old wood.
As my partner tried to explain the route we will be taking for our kalesa tour that afternoon, I was already lost daydreaming.
Of living here.
Of waking up to this vintage jungle every morning.
Of afternoon tea at one of the verandas.
Of intimate weddings at one of these aristocratic mansions.

Ah, the rush old things bring me - I was definitely born on the wrong century.

The old convent made into parsonage adjoining Sta. Monica Church
(Sarrat, Ilocos Norte)

Sta. Monica Church (Sarrat, Ilocos Norte)
 A beautiful piece of holy handwork, the church built in 1779 is elaborately designed with beautifully colored red bricks seen on the outside while elegantly framed with wooden roof trusses in the inside. The baroque feel is just all over, from the roof down to the ground.  Oh, and here's a trivia - it took 10 long years to construct the whole giant complex! Now, that's a lot of hardwork right there.
A built-in vintage house at Museo Ilocos (Laoag, Ilocos Norte)
 I remember staying in a house similar to this back when I was a kid. My grandparents' abode, with the shiny wooden floor, big narra tables adorned with knitted table cloths and the capis shell windows  all have the same look and feel of familiarity and warmth of home. I can almost imagine the smell of sinaing from the memories.
MalacaƱang of the North (Paoay, Ilocos Norte)
 This mansion was, indeed, made for royals. The entire house, from the chandeliers to the paintings down to the unique pieces of furniture to the masters bedroom and its giant closets and baths - it all scream wealth and regality. While touring the former first family's mansion, though, I couldn't help but thought of how weird it must be to have strangers come over and snoop through your house like your bed sheets are one of  the most well-kept secrets of the state. It must be disturbing to see how your old dolls are more photographed and go online more often than your own picture. Anyway,  before we left the place,  I decided I want to live there. I have to go figure how I intend to do that, though. Lol.

Meanwhile... that glaring sun in the picture is no photoshop! :)
Paoay Church (Paoay, Ilocos Norte)

Paoay Church (Paoay, Ilocos Norte)

 Unesco World Heritage Site named The Church of St. Augustine known as Paoay Church as one of the best baroque inspired churches in the country. And why not!? Built in 1710, it's one of those few able to withstand the unpredictable seismic condition of the country while most earlier churches gave in to several massive earthquakes that hit the region. I couldn't help but wonder how these mega vintage towers, built by bare hands, can withstand strong earthquakes. Ah, the wonder of old architecture.
Bantay Bell Tower  (Vigan, Ilocos Sur)

 The scorching heat of the sun was up on our heads, the air humid on our faces, we're ready to give anything for a glass of ice cold water when we reached the belfry atop the hill beside St. Augustine Parish Church at Bantay. Here's what one should bear in mind as he reached the floor with the bell on it - you're a 1590 Spanish colonial era pirate guarding the town. That's exactly what the tower's job once was - fun fact. Stay an hour, it should be more fun while taking lots of pictures. And a little trivia - it's the most photographed bell tower in Ilocos so it should get you several FB likes.(*wink*)
Calle Crisologo (Vigan Heritage Site)

Vigan immediately came to mind when the talk of our 10th Anniversary celebration was brought up.
I would take pride in saying that it's because we're well worthy at being called 'vintage' for being the oldest couple among our friends. Haha
And what's not to boast, old things have its charming qualities.
Some of the words associated with old are sophistication, credibility, elegance, wisdom, wealth, beauty and power.
All of which applied to the quaint little city of Vigan and the neighboring towns Laoag, Sarrat and Paoay.

Clippety-cloppety , that beautiful sound horse's feet make as we walk around the village. The smell of wood, the sweet Ilocano chatter, the never ending line of old casas... a car engine snapped me out of my reverie. We're going back to the hotel and I feel like I am being torn from something really close to me it's almost emotional. Ha ha ha.

Oh, did I say I was born on the wrong century?

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