Batac City: the “Home of Great Leaders”

I was making the most of summer and I have been away from the computer doing some quickie and long rides (which might end up as another late blog entry). We are not getting that much rain yet so the trips just keep coming. Meanwhile, to keep things going here, I’ll continue the North Luzon Loop series. Where were we?

batac_leaders

Oh right.. the failed crossing to Gabut Island. This is still in Badoc, Ilocos Norte. Continuing northward, I passed by Curimao heading to Laoag. I planned to stop for a quick tour in Batac City. At an intersection leading to the city proper, there is a Tourism outpost handing out brochures. I got one and picked my destinations in the “Home of Great Leaders”

Batac City is in Ilocos Norte some 470 kilometers north of Manila. If you travel the same distance from Manila heading south, you’ll end up in Legazpi, Albay. From the main highway, the city proper is less than a kilometer away so making a quick sidetrip is very worthwhile. It should not even be just sidetrip, make this A DESTINATION the next time you will pass by the area. WHAT TO SEE..

AGLIPAYAN CHURCH (Iglesia Filipina Independiente)

Iglesia Filipiniana Independiente is also known as Aglipayan Church

Iglesia Filipiniana Independiente is also known as Aglipayan Church.

Batac is the birthplace of Gregorio Aglipay. He was a former Roman Catholic priest who became the first Filipino Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church. It is a Christian Protestant denomination of the Catholic tradition in the form of a national church and is the second largest with two to six million members. His remains are entombed inside the this cathedral but it was closed so I don’t know where exactly it is.

Pretty much like a Roman Catholic  church

Pretty much like a Roman Catholic church.

Speaking of the Catholic Church, just a few meters right after Quiaoit Bridge further into the city is the..

IMMACULATE CONCEPCION CHURCH

The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is the patron saint of the city.

The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is the patron saint of the city.

The church was closed but I can hear noises coming from the inside. I sneaked in through the half-open small door at the side and was greeted by some altar boys cleaning the church. I asked permission to snap a few pictures and they responded with a barrage of questions about my trip. Made a big fuss over a little bike doing a long trip.

isn't that beautiful!

isn’t that beautiful!

The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is the patron saint of the city.

The altar. The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is the patron saint of the city.

GENERAL ARTEMIO RICARTE SHRINE

Artemio “Vibora” (The Viper) Ricarte is known as The Father of the Philippine Army and was a general during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War.

"Ang tangi kong hangad sa buhay ay maihatid ko kayo sa tugatog ng kaligayahan upang kayo'y maging malaya at dakila, nang sa gayo'y mabatid ng ibang bansa na kayo ay hindi panganganino sa sinuman sa kanila sa lakas, agham at kalayaan..."

“Ang tangi kong hangad sa buhay ay maihatid ko kayo sa tugatog ng kaligayahan upang kayo’y maging malaya at dakila, nang sa gayo’y mabatid ng ibang bansa na kayo ay hindi panganganino sa sinuman sa kanila sa lakas, agham at kalayaan…”

He is a hero but interestingly, at the latter part of his life, he was forced to establish the MaKaPili (Makabayan Katipunan ng mga Pilipino) or those who turn against fellow Filipinos to the Japanese. Before you utter the word “traitor”, please do a little research about that part of this hero’s life first. Putting that aside, The Viper is known for never taking an oath of allegiance to the United States even if it meant being exiled and imprisoned.

The Shrine and in front of it is a spacious park with a larger-than-life statue of The Viper.

The Shrine and in front of it is a spacious park with a larger-than-life statue of The Viper.

Displayed inside are pictures and other memorabilia of The Viper at the time of war

Displayed inside are pictures and other memorabilia of The Viper at the time of war

VIbora! it's so cool calling someone like that in the battlefield.

VIbora! it’s so cool calling someone like that in the battlefield.

It's so hot outside I almost didn't want to leave the shrine.

It’s so hot outside I almost didn’t want to leave the shrine.

I feel like I don’t need to mention this but yes, Artemio Ricarte is from Batac.

FERDINAND MARCOS PRESIDENTIAL CENTER

batac_marcosmuseum

Remember when I said that ‘Ilocos’ is like a synonym to ‘Marcos’? Well, Batac’ is defined as ‘Marcos’.  Like Aglipay and Ricarte, the former president Ferdinand Marcos is also from Batac. Technically, Marcos was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte but he grew up in Batac.

A monument of the former president Ferdinand Marcos

A monument of the former president Ferdinand Marcos

When I got to the Marcos Presidential Center, a big, fat, sign was sitting at the desk: [LUNCH BREAK]. I walked around on the corridors outside and an old man ushered me inside a door. Turns out, this is the Marcos Mausoleum. I was surprised they let me in with my camera; taking photos is strictly prohibited.

Lifted from the internet.

Image from the internet

Inside, his remains (or maybe a wax-figure as some conspiracy theories claim) lies inside an airconditioned crypt as Gregorian music plays endlessly. The Marcoses refuse to bury him until he would be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I don’t see that happening any time soon so you still have a chance to attend this “wake”.

I ate my lunch here while parked. A Snickers bar with buko juice.

I ate my lunch here while parked. A Snickers bar with buko juice.

I can’t wait for the Museum to open after the lunch break so I proceeded to tour the rest of the city.

A lot to see within a 500 square meter area.

A lot to see within a 500 square meter area.

Half-mast observed at the City Hall and the Batac Empanadahan.

Half-mast observed at the City Hall and the Batac Empanadahan.

The places you can visit are just a stone's throw away from each other so it's like hitting a lot of tourist spots with one stop.

The places you can visit are just a stone’s throw away from each other so it’s like hitting a lot of tourist spots with one stop.

Strolling the streets are very low speeds is not really that comfortable with all the gear and the blazing sun so I headed out of the city. One last stop..

WORLD PEACE CENTER

Lots of pictures here..

Lots of pictures here..

I don’t really understand why it’s called that. I was told that it houses pictures of the life of the Marcos. in Google Maps, it is labelled as Marcos Museum. Maybe the Marcos Presidential Center can no longer hold the rest of the memorabilia so this is somewhat an extension. It looks open and I would like to come in since the other Marcos Museum is closed but there is no decent parking space nearby so I just rode off..

Back to Manila? Off to Laoag? or sidetrip to Paoay?

Back to Manila? Off to Laoag? or sidetrip to Paoay?

Where to next?

Advertisements

About Dom de la Torre

The rider is a 20-something Filipino that rides a Honda Wave 125cc underbone. He knows little about motorcycles yet loves the experience going places on two wheels. Rider Ako is a motorcycle-slash-travel blog. The rider not only shares to you travel destinations and what to see there but also the experience of getting there. You will read about the thrills and adventure when he rides solo, the romance of riding in tandem, the camaraderie riding with a group, the excitement participating in events, and anything that he thinks you might find interesting.When he's broke and the fuel's empty, he will share stories about motorcycling how he sees it through his helmet visor.
This entry was posted in Long Ride, Rides, Solo Ride and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Batac City: the “Home of Great Leaders”

  1. The reason why the Flagpole of the Batac City Hall was at half-mast is because the former Mayor of Batac, Atty. Jesus R. Nalupta, Sr. (Father of the Incumbent Batac City Mayor Jeffrey Jubal C. Nalupta) died March 31, 2013 of heart attack. So we mourned his death. He was buried April 10, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s