A Unesco World Heritage Site 38km south of Vigan, this massive baroque structure built in 1769 is unique. It has an imposing brick facade and sits alone on a hill – rather than in the town square like most Spanish churches – overlooking the town of Santa Maria, giving it a Wild West kinda vibe.
It’s not hard to see why it was used as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution in 1896.
Take any Manila-bound bus to Santa Maria. It’s a long ride (80 minutes) for a short visit but if you’re lucky you may catch a wedding or other event.