March 05, 2017

Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte: A beautiful piece of history

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  • Paoay Church

    One of the places you must visit if you are on a tour at Ilocos Norte’s famous destinations should be the Paoay Church. This church, also known as San Agustin Church, is considered to be one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the Philippines. It is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Hertiage Site under the group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993. Also, it is declared as a National Cultural Treasure in 1993 by the Philippine government.

    The Paoay Church was built in 1694 by Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo which was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896. According to Alicia Coseteng, an authority on colonial church architecture, the Paoay Church has a style of “Earthquake Baroque,” as it is also one of the oldest churches that is resistant to earthquake and natural calamities. The 24 carved buttresses (structural support) and its thick walls found on the sides of the church are what made it stronger through the years even with its more than 300 years of establishment. It is also important to note that since it was built three decades ago, no mechanical equipment was used so the church builders used manual force to build such a grand church. It makes the story of Paoay Church all the more interesting than it already is. Up to present, restorations are made to preserve its unique beauty and history.

    The church is also known for its visual beauty, from its walls made of coral stones and bricks and its overall design that is a mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Oriental designs. As you enter the church, you will see Javanese architectural styles making it look as impressive as its exterior. Beside the Paoay Church is a bell tower that one can also visit as it speaks history as well because it was used as a communication device for the townspeople.

    Many tourists come here to be amazed by the historic church and also, to celebrate mass or other church ceremonies. If you plan to visit the place, make sure to wear decent clothes so as to respect its holiness. Avoid making noise so as not to disturb churchgoers when you go inside. To go here from the Laaog Airport or from the bus terminal, you can ride a van or tricycle that will take a 45 minute ride.

    Visit the church to know more of Ilocos history once you are in Paoay!

    Source of info:  


    Address: Marcos Ave., Paoay, Ilocos Norte

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