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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 St. Augustine of Hippo. It is also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity (Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad) housing the miraculous image of Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Charity, crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia on January 12, 1956. .
|Saint Augustine of Hippo Parish Church
Shrine of Our Lady of Charity
Bantay Church (top) and its bell tower (bottom) in Ilocos Sur
|Location||Bantay, Ilocos Sur|
|Dedication||Saint Augustine of Hippo|
|Style||Neo-Gothic and pseudo-Romanesque|
|Archbishop||Marlo Mendoza Peralta|
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.
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.
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 Wars I and II because of its strategic location. The Bantay Church and bell tower are monumental witnesses to various atrocities and uprisings.
Media related to Saint Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur at Wikimedia Commons