HERITAGE TRAIL. Visitors walk down memory lane on Thursday (Dec. 22, 2022) as they get to know more about the heritage trail of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. At least eight historical markers here were unveiled this week. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The heritage town of Bacarra in Ilocos Norte is banking on its tangible cultural assets to entice more visitors.

On Thursday, local tour guides from the municipal government walked visitors down memory lane as they presented the town's newly-inaugurated heritage trail consisting of at least eight cultural assets the town is best known for.

Starting from the Bacarra municipal hall or Casa Municipal where the gobernadorcillio used to hold office, the 91-year-old structure may look completely different now from the original building before it was damaged by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in 1931 but its baroque-style features remain.

In front of the municipal hall is the plaza complex (Pueblo of Bacarra) founded in 1590. To this day, the plaza serves as a public place for rest and recreation.

Just a few meters from the plaza complex is the well-kept Lazo-Albano ancestral home, well known in the community as “Balay a Dakkel.” It was built by Andres Lazo in the 1800s, and its distinctive features have been preserved. The next generations of the Lazo clan have also continued their commitment to public service as some of them have been elected or appointed to government positions locally and nationally.

The heritage trail also showcased the birthplace of Elizabeth Marcos-Keon who was born on Nov. 27, 1926.

She was the younger sister of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. who paved the way for significant infrastructure development in the province including agriculture, community beautification, health and sanitation and environmental improvement when she served as governor from 1971 to 1983.

Other heritage structures in the municipality also include the Gabaldon School, La Peralta Residencia, Museo de Bacarra and the Bacarra Church & Bellfry -- all located around the plaza complex.

In time for the town’s fiesta celebration this week, Mayor Nicomedes Dela Cruz said Thursday they unveiled eight historical markers to showcase the town’s rich culture and history.

"With this new attraction in Bacarra, we are positive about the growth revival of the tourism industry of our town,” he said. (PNA)