Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Church of Saint Augustine of Paoay, Ilocos Norte

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The Church of Saint Augustine, commonly known as the Paoay Church, started its constructions in the year 1694 and was completed in 1710 in the province of Ilocos Norte. It is a supreme model of an Earthquake Baroque church which is designed to withstand earthquakes as Philippines’ has a reputation of an earthquake-prone country during that time.

Ever since I've been stung by the travel bug, I have been wanting to see Paoay Church. Just seeing the photos of this church in the internet and different SNS makes me wonder what more does it looks like up close and in-person. That's why when me and my friends booked a flight to this province, Paoay Church is one of the spots I've been looking forward to see. And when I was there already, it doesn't disappoint me. The beautiful structure and the mix of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs of this church makes me fall in love with it. This is by far the number 1 church on my list.

How did I get here?
The hotel we stayed-in offers a complete Ilocandia tour (Ilocos Norte and Sur). As for our group of 5, we paid 2,990 pesos/pax (price varies depending on the head count) which includes a private aircon van transportation to Laoag-Vigan-Pagudpud, a hotel accommodation for 2 days and 2 nights, a daily set of breakfast, entrance fees, toll fees, driver's meal, and as well as airport transfers. Airfare is not included. Oops, before I forgot, the name of the hotel is UKL Ever Hotel and it is located in Laoag City. It is also 15 minutes away from the airport.

Full view of Paoay Church
Inside Paoay Church. Just plain and simple

Paoay church was built using bricks, tree sap, and lumbers but what makes it special and strong is, it is mainly built using coral stones/rocks. Huge coral stones were used in the lower portion of the church to have a great hold of its weight. Its bell tower, although it is separated from the main building, is also made in coral stones. With its striking look and architectural design, Paoay Church was proclaimed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines which took part in 1993. Other Baroque Churches in the Philippines which are recognized by UNESCO are the following: Nuestra Señora dela Asunción in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo.

Rains stop. Cameras out. #groupfie

Though it was raining when we visited the Church of Saint Augustine due to a low pressure area (LPA), I am still thankful that I have given the chance to see this beautiful church in person and have a selfie and groupfie as well (as the rain stops in about 20 minutes).


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