TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands–If there is one structure that would never fail to catch one’s attention on the historic island of Tinian, it is this old bell tower or what has remained of it at the back of the San Jose Catholic church in the village of San Jose.
The ruins of the old bell tower looks out of place in a modern surrounding, with but the contrast added to the major attraction. I would have wanted to go up the bell tower and explore this ruined building up to the topmost area but the tower is closed to the public.
I’ve been to the island for as many times as I could count in the past eight years and have seen and photographed this old bell tower countless of times before, but this time it was a different visit because I had the chance to stay around until darkness has fallen.
The remains of the bell tower in broad daylight look just like any other remains of old buildings with pieces of steel and metal sticking out of the cracked concrete but seeing the structure with the darkness falling is altogether a different story. You will experience an altogether different feeling when you look at the dark silhouette of the bell tower casting eerie shadows.
The old church was built by Father Pellet and parishioners in 1936. The inscription on the doorway of the bell tower says it is dedicated in memory of Father Marcian Pellet, OFM, and his faithful followers on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee on December 12, 2006. This is one must-not miss destination when you are on Tinian.