The border towns of Badoc in Ilocos Norte and Sinait in Ilocos Sur are politically separated but spiritually joined together by their famous resident milagrosos: the Sto. Cristo stayed in Sinait and the La Virgen Milagrosa in Badoc where they remained enshrined since 1620.
Fr. Alonzo Alvarado (OSA) who was with the expedition of Juan de Salcedo was the first Augustinian to set foot in what is now Badoc in a settlement called Barol. In different times, the place was also called as Bagos or Barao. Its present name was derived from a plant called badoc-badoc. In 1591, the Augustinian mission in Badoc was formally established. A church was presumably built afterwards that might have been the one raided by Andres Malong between around 1660 and 1661. In 1807, the rebellious Ilocanos entrenched themselves in Badoc during the Basi Revolt. Fr. Antonio Estavillo (OSA) --- the builder of the great Paoay church --- probably initiated building the present church of San Juan Bautista in 1722. The great but tragic Filipino painter Juan Luna was baptized in the church by Fr. Sebastian Dien (OSA) on
27 October 1857. Fr. Ricardo Alfonso (OSA) had the church repaired between 1888 and 1898 after the 1885 earthquake damaged it. In 1902, all of the town’s population except three families joined their parish priest --- Fr. Mariano Espiritu --- in the newly established Aglipayan church. The church was again damaged in 1913 and 1931. A major restoration work on the church was initiated by Fr. Juan Ballesteros in 1980 but again was slightly damaged during the 1983 and 1989 earthquakes.
The first Ilocos Sur town after Ilocos Norte is Sinait --- a former encomienda of Juan de Salcedo. It was established as a pueblo in 1574 and in 1591, the Augustinians accepted it as a mission. The first church was probably built before 1620 and was later damaged by an earthquake. The place where the succeeding churches were built seems to be always exposed to fire for the churches were always burned down. This was again the case of the present church, dedicated to San Nicolas de Tolentino, that was reported to have been razed by fire in 1760 but was again rebuilt until 1822. Fr. Celestino Paniuga (OSA) had the church restored from 1889 until 1895. It was damaged by a typhoon in 1953 and was repaired by Fr. Raymundo Garcia.
PHOTOS (top to bottom):
(1) Badoc, Ilocos Norte; (2) the rebuilt Luna house near the Badoc church where reproductions of Juan Luna's paintings are displayed; (3) Sinait, Ilocos Sur.