Apart from the famous surfing and other water sports activities, La Union also offers historical and heritage sites for tourists who loves old buildings and architectural wonders. After the surfing lessons we had in San Juan courtesy of Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, we went back to San Fernando La Union and we were astounded to find out that there was an old church ruins that is accesible from the main road and is still open to the public.
Only few minutes from the main road, Pindangan Ruins are absolutely magnificent and it showcases the beauty and history of the region better than just about any other site, I’ve visited. The reason is because the ruins is the vestige of the oldest church in the area, the Pindangan Church which was built in May 6, 1876.
Virgin Mary in Pindangan Ruins
San Vicente de Balanac was a coastal village and San Guillermo de Dalangdang was a village at the base of the hills nearby. Both villages were in constant danger from the pirates, headhunters, and other brigands of the region and so they decided to band together into one common entity with a common purpose.
Inside the Church Ruins
The resulting village was named Pindangan. The name comes from the Ilocano word Pindang. Pindang is the traditional way preserving fish that were caught by the villagers. The village was founded on May 6, 1786 and to celebrate the union, the church was constructed.
Oldest Church in La Union
It served the villagers well and was a place that was filled with worshipers and those asking for blessings from the saints for more than a hundred years before the great earthquake of 1892 damaged the church and left it in ruins.
Today, the holy nature of the site combined with the spirit of unity and working together still resonates and when you walk among the Pindangan ruins, you can’t help but feel proud to be a Filipino. Today a new Chapel was constructed in its former altar where a mass is regularly celebrated.