2018, March

Officials and residents of this town are rejoicing as its dome-less belfry will soon be restored courtesy of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). Bacarra mayor Nicomedes dela Cruz reported that the NHCP through director Rene Escalante on his recent visit to Ilocos Norte, assured about PHP50 million for the restoration of this important national treasure, also known as the “acrobatic bell tower of Asia”. Locals said they are thankful for this new development as the dignified dome-less bell tower of Bacarra is often under appreciated. Unknown to many, the old church of Saint Andrew the Apostle along with the bell tower and convent are among the enduring landmarks of the Augustinian Friars that forms part of the rich history of the Ilocanos. Built in 1593, a 7.8 intensity earthquake on August 17, 1983 destroyed the church and belfry. It caused the dome to fall down thus, gaining the romanticized title “Dignified Domeless Bell Tower in Asia.” By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 260, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared the Bacarra Church as a National Cultural Treasure on August 1, 1973. Aside from the bell tower, the NHCP has also allocated some funds for the Natba watch tower restoration starting this year.

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