Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan
Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan blue and white painted facade

Done with admiring the Macho Temple, we moved up north to the Town of Luna 40km away from San Fernando. We were on our way to the pebble beach but we can’t afford not to stop and checkout the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan. Luna Town was used to be called Namacpacan due to the town’s reputed hospitality to visitors. Namacpacan is an Ilocano word meaning “one who had given food”. It was in October 18, 1906 when the town changed its name to Luna to honor the Luna brothers Antonio and Luna.

Namacpacan Church Step-buttres
Namacpacan Church Step-buttress

The Namacpacan Church has an eye-catching facade painted in blue and white. The walls surrounding the church are still the original bricks and stone already centuries old. On the sides of the church is a unique step-buttress that leads up to the roof. Housed inside the church is the miraculous image of Our Lady of Namacpacan. The image was originally en route to Vigan, Ilocos Sur from Spain but a storm swept their ship away to La Union instead.

Our Lady of Namacpacan Church Interiors
Our Lady of Namacpacan Church Interiors

When they were going to transport the image by land, the wooden image refused to budge and the people took it as a sign to let it stay at Namacpacan. Our Lady of Namacpacan claimed to have healed a lame girl Rosa Roldan to walk again, some tribal families were given food and blankets by the lady herself, and Pope Pius XII saw the image of Our Lady of Namacpacan before his death.

Luna Pebble Beach
Luna Pebble Beach

With a twenty minute more drive, we finally reached the pebble beach in Luna. It was hot and the sun was at its extreme. Some chose to stay inside the cool comforts of the Van but some of us wishes to see this lone watch tower and braved the heat and walk at the pebble beach.

Luna Watchtower
Luna Watchtower

On our way to the Baluarte, we saw locals gather the pebbles and prune the colorful and shiny ones for construction or other industrial use. Kids gather the small ones and put them in tiny transparent bottles to sell to tourist. The Luna Watchtower stands firm on the shores, it is cracked in half like an egg shell. There’s not much info about the Baluarte except that it was built by the Spaniards to keep watch of marauding Japanese, Chinese and Moro Pirates.

A tree inside the Luna watchtower
A tree inside the Luna watchtower

The sky suddenly darkened on our way back to the Van. It did rain heavily and our way back to Thunderbird Poro Point Resort that afternoon, but not without stopping by for some refreshments and snacks at Halo-halo de Iloko.

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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

9 Responses to “La Union: Luna’s Namacpacan Church, Pebble Beach and Watchtower”

  1. Hi Resty! We didn’t had the chance to check those reefs. Maybe next time 🙂

    Thanks for the visit Couch Surfer

    There are several watchtowers in the Philippines WitsandNuts, but I was pleasant to find this one in La Union

    True Photo Cache! I’m glad it hasn’t fully opened yet. I thought it was very picturesque how it looks now.

    Onga Gael, pag dating mid-afternoon kahit sobrang maaraw that morning for sure it will rain.

    Yup Rizaleno, a number of sights here.

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