Laoag Belltower • Laoag City, Ilocos Sur

It is generally assumed that the bell tower and church of San Guillermo are contemporaneous. The San Guillermo church was built in 1700 after the church site was transferred from an earlier site on Ermita Hill. The old church site is now marked with a cross. The bell tower is one of the landmarks of Laoag City. The tower is built at a distance from the church, the same arrangement found in Bacarra, Vintar, Sarrat, Bantay, Vigan, Santa Maria and other places. This plan is said to be typical of the Ilocos. Elsewhere in the Philippines bell towers are generally adjacent to the church or connected to it by a short corridor. The Laoag tower should be deemed part of the church complex. In the past, when there was no road between church and tower and no buildings intervening the unity of the complex was more apparent. While serving as the church bell tower, it was also a lookout or watchtower and contributed to municipal defense.Planned as multistory structure consisting of diminishing quadrilateral floors, the generous aperture at the second to the last register allows passage to the tower’s exterior, probably a concession to the allow the tower to have a dual purpose as watch tower and bell tower.


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