Priest finds proof of lost towns in Ilocos Norte
Quote:Laoag (CNN Philippines) — A box containing centuries-old manuscripts that was found recently in the storage room of the Palacio Episcopal of the Diocese of Laoag may shed light on the lost towns of Ilocos Norte.

According to Rev. Fr. Ericson Josue, diocesan archivist, they were looking for some documents when they found a box labeled “Bacarra Box 1” in a hidden portion of the bodega.

The box was soaked in flood water from the recent typhoon. After letting it dry, Josue opened it and found early 18th century documents that mentioned Bangbang, Vera, and Adang – the lost towns of the province.

Among the documents in the box was the Bacarra Baptisms Book dated 1702-1759, the oldest known extant manuscript in the whole of Ilocos Norte.

“This volume contains the conversion of infidels in the visitas of the parish of Bacarra — namely, Bangui, Bangbang, Vera, Adang, Bangbanglo, Pasuquin, and Vintar,” he said.

A ‘visita’ is a peripheral mission of a parish. Bangui, Bangbanglo (allegedly the old name of Burgos), Pasuquin, and Vintar are now established towns, while the exact locations of Bangbang, Vera, and Adang are unclear.

Josue hopes that with the newly discovered manuscripts, he could proceed with the documentation on the lost towns of Ilocos Norte.

“This is saving their stories from the abyss of oblivion and showing guideposts for tomorrow’s generations,” he explained.

Years ago, Josue started tracing the location of the lost towns with documents from the Vatican Secret Archives in Rome and Archivo Provincial Agustiniana de Filipinas in Villadolid, Spain.

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