27 July 2010 Tuesday–City tour was part of the bloggers’ tour but I was actually surprised when the people of THUNDERBIRD RESORTS brought us to different unsung historic spots within La Union. It was truly beyond my expectation.
First stop : PINDANGAN RUINS
Built in May 6, 1786, Minasterio de San Fernando was the oldest church in La Union however severed by earthquake in the year 1892. The remains left us with lush vegetation which was the church itself before; and the location of the old altar was now a church run by nuns.
The magnificent support pillars to its lateral walls resemble those of most ancient churches in Northen Philippines, particularly remind me of Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte.
Second stop : LA UNION BOTANICAL GARDEN.
Vibrant colors from extra-ordinary blooms.
Located on top of the mountainous areas of La Union is its 20-hectare Botanical Garden. Tropical blooms and few animals can be found in this scientific garden amidst a research laboratory up North.
This garden is more impressive than my last memory of Baguio’s.
Third stop : MA-CHO CHINESE TEMPLE
Ma-Cho Temple was designed by Architect Diokno and was constructed by Chinese skilled workers flown directly from Taiwan.
Although without formal knowledge in Oriental architecture, I find it easy to appreciate Asian structures as they usually beam with rich heritage and culture.
Fourth stop : LUNA.
Almost an hour drive from Ma-Cho Chinese Temple, we trooped to the town of Luna. Never in my dreams did I expect to reach this charming town in La Union.
“The Town of Luna was formerly called “Namacpacan“. Namacpacan is an Ilocano word which means “one who had given food.”
Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan and St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish.
Having been raised as Catholic by a mom with former 30-church-Visita Iglesia-tradition every Holy Week, I find it not difficult to admire churches too. Admiration goes deep to veneration of course.
Still in the town of Luna, just a few meters from the Namacpacan Church is PEBBLE BEACH where the town’s BALUARTE WATCHTOWER.
“Built by the Spaniards along the shores of Luna, the watchtower was used to spot marauding Japanese, Chinese and Moro pirated.”
After walking several meters in the pebbled shores under the mercy of scorching sun, I found myself in awe with the remains of the Baluarte Watchtower in Luna.
Every stone and pebble was a concrete evidence of history; unfortunately, the remains of the Baluarte Watchtower screams for maintenance and preservation.
All in all, the trip was worth it.
Special thanks to management and staff of THUNDERBIRD RESORTS for inviting 10 bloggers, including myself to experience and savor their ultimate vacation paradise and fascinating spots in San Fernando, La Union.
*This is the last of a 3-part-blog-series about Thunderbird Resorts.
Up next : See you in Penang, My.