Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sarrat Church (Santa Monica Church), Sarrat, Ilocos Norte

WHERE: Sarrat Church (Santa Monica Church), Sarrat, Ilocos Norte
DATE OF TRAVEL: September 21-23, 2007

1) It is the largest church in the Ilocos region.
2) It is the church with the longest center aisle in the Philippines (137 meters).
3) It is a beautiful baroque church made from baked brick.
4) It still has ruins of a torture chamber used by the Spanish to hang and torture Filipinos during the Spanish colonial period (and right above it was a terrace where the Spanish priests would watch the "torture").

FEES: Free

Santa Monica Church or Sarrat Church is the largest church in the Ilocos Region, it can be found in the town of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte (7 kilometers from Laoag City). This church was built in 1669 along with its bell tower and a convent by Augustinian friars and named it after the mother of Saint Augustine; Saint Monica. The church, the convent and the bell tower are all made from baked bricked thus making the color of the church red. It has buttressed walls, a staircase and bridge that connects the church and convent. The bell tower is built at a distance from the main church to protect the main church from damage in case an earthquake would topple the bell tower down. The church also has the longest center aisle amongst all the churches in the Philippines, it is 137 meters long.

Furthermore, the church has ruins of a torture chamber where you will find two brick pillars. This is where Filipinos, who were against the Spanish, were hanged and tortured by the Spanish during their colonization of the Philippines. During the Japanese time, the Japanese used this also to torture Filipino guerillas. Other memorabilia and photographs can be found displayed in the convent.

Sarrat was the hometown of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. It was in this church, last June 1983, where his daughter Irene Marcos was wed to Gregorio Araneta. The wedding brought about the reconstruction of the church since it was damaged through time, wars and two major fires. Unfortunately, after two months, an earthquake struck (intensity 7.6) and the altar and bell tower was damaged.

By private bus: From Manila, we joined a field trip and headed up north via a hired bus.

There are airconditioned buses that leave from Manila to Laoag. For a list of buses, click this.

You can also fly for an hour from Manila to Laoag City via Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines or Zest Airways.

Once in Laoag, just hail a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the Sarrat Church or Santa Monica Church. You can also take a jeepney to the church.

Click here for more...

1 comment:

  1. wow hanep sa trivia!

    your info adds to my interest to visit this beautiful and historical place once I go back in Laoag.

    salamat and mabuhay!