The naming of the town as a Local Government Unit has two versions. One, some people believed that it was named ‘bantay’ after its natural and physical features, meaning, mountain, because of its hilly and mountainous terrain, particularly at its eastern portion.

Second, the other explanation is linked to the Holy Shrine of the famous and miraculous image of our Lady of Charity, which was brought to the place during the Spanish colonial period and accidentally found by fishermen on board a ship that got stranded on the shores of the Ilocos coast.

In her honor, Bantay residents built a chapel, which is now the main feature of St. Augustine Church. It is often said that from the time the miraculous image was brought to Bantay, Tagalogs and Zambals would come to town claiming for the Holy Shrine and the image of Our Lady of Charity but even with all their might and efforts, they were not able to move nor possess the miraculous image. Instead, they left Bantay with the notion and belief that the Holy Shrine was meant purposely, and the miraculous image of the

Virgin intended to remain, for the residents of Bantay only, therein to remain forever to “guard” the place. Thus, evolved the name of the town as -BANTAY-, meaning,

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