Badoc is a 3rd class municipality that is among the least known of the provinces within Ilocandia, no doubt eclipsed by such places as Vigan, Paoay, Laoag, and Pagudpud- at least to most visitors. However, it has the distinction of being the first town of Ilocos Norte if one is coming from the south, and it is the birthplace of Juan Luna, perhaps the most well-known of Filipino painters. In May 24, 2016 my girlfriend Carol and I made a side trip to Badoc on our way to Laoag, the second of three legs of our Ilocos rampage.
At the end of the town of Sinait in Ilocos Sur, one is greeted by this arch, signaling that the traveler has just reached the province of Ilocos Norte.
As soon as you pass through the welcome arch, you will see this marker below. If you are taking a bus and the conductor tells you that they are not going through the town proper, alight here and take a trike. Fare for two ranges from 30-50 pesos, depending on the honesty of the tricycle driver and your haggling skills.
The Luna Shrine was built on the occasion of Ferdinand Marcos' 60th birth anniversary on September 11, 1977, through the efforts of Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who claimed to be a direct descendant of the Lunas through her grandmother Aniciana Luna y Trinidad, a daughter of Dr. Jose Luna, the eldest of the Luna brothers.
Inside the house are several paintings executed by a variety of artists, as well as sculptures, though none is an original Luna. This one below is a homage to Juan Luna and Paz Pardo de Tavera, his wife whom he murdered out of jealousy.
Palette of Juan Luna:
Palette of Felix Resureccion Hidalgo:
Palette of Rafael Enriquez, the first Director of the University of the Philippines' School of Fine Arts. His mansion, which he had built in 1867, served as the first campus of the School from 1908 to 1926. A replica of this house, with the original Ionic columns, is on display at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.
Paintbrush of Felix Resureccion Hidalgo:
The rayadillo was ordered by Antonio Luna to be the official uniform of Filipino troops as a means to instill unity among the troops. But it was to no avail, as the soldiers displayed loyalty not to their country but to their ethnicity.
A copy of Juan Luna's sketch of Ferdinand Blumentritt.
A desk with old photographs. As I understood it at that time, this is from the original Luna house, but I might be mistaken.
Facsimile of Antonio Luna's Impresiones, which he published in Madrid in 1891 under the pseudonym 'Taga-Ilog'. Impresiones is noted for its biting wit that revolves on the comparison of Filipino and Spanish cultures.
The master's bedroom: The four-poster bed is supposed to be an original Luna heirloom piece.
Sculpture in honor of Juan Luna:
The Luna Shrine:
From the Luna Shrine we walked towards the old church, the San Juan de Bautista, and along the way were a few old structures that now only serve to remind how it used to be. This abandoned structure appears to be a convento. The ground floor has obviously paid the price from repeated elevations of the adjacent roads.
The San Juan de Bautista traces its roots to a 1591 construction, after conquistador Juan de Salcedo established Spanish sovereignty in Ilocos. Juan Luna was baptized here on October 27, 1857.
The church's facade has become so deteriorated that a palitada finish had to applied. The result however, did not integrate well with the rest of the structure, leaving a jarring contrast:
Buttresses are a common feature in Ilocano churches, which reflects a history of earthquakes in the region.
Spiral staircase within the belfry. Carol climbed these steps, but I opted to stay behind as the rusting structure appeared to be in so dubious condition that it cannot hold two people at once.
A well-preserved building beside the church, that is currently being used as an elementary school:
From here you can walk towards the town plaza and wait for Laoag-bound buses to come along, if you are going in that direction, or hire a tricycle to take you to the main road. Alternatively, you can walk towards the main road, which is quite a distance away but still very much amenable to walking; both Vigan and Laoag-bound buses pass there.
Our brief tour of Badoc only lasted for a full hour, which is not bad at all for a side trip, and I highly recommend to anyone to include this in their list of itinerary for their Vigan and/or Laoag sojourns.