From Manila we went to Baguio on our way to San Fernando City, La Union. There are two routes on getting there – one is through the town of Naguilian and the other, through the town of Agoo. The latter is quite famous and intriguing for me because it was the site of the famous apparition (alleged) to Judiel Nieva in 1993. From then on, the name of the town got stuck in my head so when an opportunity to visit this place came, we opted to travel there.
We didn’t roam around Agoo that much – just visited the town proper where the church is located. It has two belfries and is quite beautiful. I later learned from Wikipedia that:
The parish was founded in 1578 by Franciscan friars John Baptist Lucarelli of Pesaro, Italy and Sebastián de San Francisco of Baesa, Spain. The original church was constructed with native materials, nipa and bamboo (in Barangay Nagreban or Nagrugcan) under its patron saint Francis of Assisi. In 1598, Saturmino Franco, Casimiro Melgosa and Aquilino García finished a 3-tiered bell tower for the church. In the same year, the Augustinians named Saint Monica as the town's new patron saint.
On March 16, 1892, a massive earthquake destroyed the church, paving the way for reconstruction of the shrine of "Nuestra Señora de Caridad" in 1893. It was later demolished and replaced with the present church in 1975.