Sta. Monica Church
I supposed to have my trip north of Laoag City and visit the famous Bangui Windmills and Pagudpud until one staff member of the hotel suggested to have a side trip to Sarrat. I didn't know that former President Ferdinand Marcos' birthplace on this small town east of Laoag City. I asked if it will be a long travel and he said that travel time will take 20 minutes from the city. I hailed a tricycle and asked the driver to drop me off to the terminal to Sarrat. I rode a jeepney and after 20 minutes, I arrived to this quiet town.
Located to the east of Laoag City, Sarrat is a landlocked town situated along Padsan River. It was renamed San Miguel during Spanish colonization and changed it to Sarrat in 1916. A 4th class municipality and one of the quiet and peaceful towns in Ilocos Norte.
Welcome Arch of Sarrat
I dropped off to the Public Market and walked along the town proper and I find its peacefulness of the area. It was different atmosphere from Laoag and I immediately took some pictures until I reached Sarrat Church.
this way to Sarrat Church
Rit-ritemon Kayong Uprising Monument
Old Sarrat Town Hall
me and the town hall
approaching Sta. Monica Church
Sta. Monica Church or simply Sarrat Church, it as built around 17th century. It was constructed in Baroque and Neoclassical styles. I love the design of the church especially the bricks for it shows how old the structure. It was also the last church built by Spaniards in Ilocos Norte. On the right side was the bell tower. It was huge and I automatically saw it. Like other churches in the country, the bell tower was built few meters from the church.
that mighty bell tower
The church was said to be the longest center aisles in Ilocos Norte and one of the longest in the country. at 137 meters long, it should be the one. No wonder that this place was chosen to be the wedding of Irene Marcos (daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos) and Gregorio "Greggy" Araneta. It was one of the lavish wedding event in the year 1983 with thousands of guests and it was like a feast during the event.
sit down and pray
center aisle was wide and long
nice design of the church interiors
I was just amazed on the design and those baked bricks and formed into a church. I felt peacefulness and solemnity inside. After I prayed and took some photos inside, I went outside and saw a convent which it called Casa del Palacio Real. This place was frequently built before due to fire. It was completely restored on June 1896. The convent was made of baked bricks. I was interested in the arch bridge that connected the church and convent. I love the design of it.
A bridge called Paradizo
Casa Paroquial de Sarrat
way to the convent
the church convent
going to the back of the church
This town offered lot of interesting places and it was a worth visit. It was a short and meaningful way of discovering the other town of Ilocos Norte. I also visited the new Sarrat Municipal Hall (former Irene Marcos guest house) and also the famous Ferdinand Marcos Museum on where the late president was born in this town.
Padsan River up there
New Sarrat Municipal Building
Ferdinand Marcos Museum
How to get there?
via car / van - from Laoag City, drive along Rizal Street / Laoag-Sarrat-Piddig-Solsona Road. Travel time takes only 15 minutes. Tourist spots are along the national road and you will never get lost. First destination will be Marcos Museum and followed by the New Sarrat Municipal Building.
via commute - Jeepneys and Tricycles are means of transportation in Sarrat. From Laoag City, just ride a jeepney to the terminal along Rizal Street. Travel time will be 20 minutes. However, waiting will take much longer due to filling up of passengers. Fare costs PHP13. Travel will end at Sarrat Public Market but you drop off to Marcos Museum since it's just along the National Road.