Bantay Church

The Saint Augustine Parish Church, commonly known as Bantay Church, is a Roman Catholic church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur in the Philippines. The church was dedicated to Saint Augustine of Hippo. It houses the venerated image of Our Lady of Charity.

Bantay Church
Saint Augustine of Hippo Parish Church
Shrine of Our Lady of Charity
Calle Crisologo
Vigan Cathedral
Bantay Church (top) and its bell tower (bottom) in Ilocos Sur, as it appeared on 2012.
17°34′52.3″N 120°23′30″E / 17.581194°N 120.39167°E / 17.581194; 120.39167
LocationBantay, Ilocos Sur
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusParish church
DedicationSaint Augustine of Hippo
Functional statusActive
Architectural typeChurch
StyleNeo-Gothic and pseudo-Romanesque
ArchdioceseNueva Segovia
ArchbishopMarlo Mendoza Peralta

Pope Pius XII issued a pontifical decree of coronation titled “Quas Tuas” on 3 August 1955 towards the venerated image of Our Lady of Chairty, being granted to the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, Santiago Caragnan y Sancho. The decree was signed by the Secretary Deacon Giulio Rossi and notarized by the Grand Chancellor, Girolamo Ricci. The coronation was carried out 12 January 1956 by the Apostolic Nuncio, Cardinal Egidio Vagnozzi and named as “Patroness of Ilocandia”. [1]

The old historic belfry of the church known as the Bantay Tower, which served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish colonial era, gave the town its name - bantay (meaning to guard). Established in 1590, the church is one of the oldest in the Ilocos Region.[1]

View of Bantay Church nave
Aerial side view of Bantay Church


The church was heavily damaged during World War II and rebuilding was started in 1950. The restored façade is of Neo-Gothic design mixed with pseudo-Romanesque materials and elements. It is designed to be grandiose and reminiscent of Spanish architecture. It uses materials such as bricks and mud.[1]

The belfry sits on a hilltop overlooking a green pasture and the province of Abra. It was used as a watchtower for invading enemy forces during World War II because of its strategic location. The Bantay Church and bell tower are monumental witnesses to various atrocities and uprisings.

Earthquake (2022)Edit

On 27 July 2022, parts of the Bantay Bell Tower crumbled after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Abra and nearby provinces.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Tourism". Experience Bantay. Retrieved on 2014-01-11.
  2. ^ "Magnitude-7 Earthquake Hits Philippines' Main Island". 2022-07-27. Retrieved 2022-07-27.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Saint Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur at Wikimedia Commons