Heritage Sites

Falling in love with Paoay Church

Ilocos Norte

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 18, 2013

I wouldn’t be surprised if men would want to propose and the women would want to get married upon seeing the PAOAY CHURCH. With its mix of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs, it is one of the most romantic churches in the country.

The Paoay Church also known as the San Agustin Church is one of the few remaining Baroque churches in the country. It is built to withstand earthquakes by the Augustinian friars in 1694 to adapt to the Philippines’ earthquake-prone reputation. Twenty four carved buttresses supply the needed support for the church’s structure and to this day, these defenses are standing their ground.

At first sight, the church looks to me like a giant stone carved into a beautiful structure. It seems endless and flowing in my eyes that I quickly fell in love with. Its bell tower stand gloriously beside it but unlike most bell towers, Paoay’s is detached from the church. Staying true to its “earthquake baroque” status, this is architecturally done to avoid the tower from crashing into the church in case a earthquake happens.

It is a perfect backdrop to classical romances and even a popular choice to shoot for local and international movies. It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Did you know: According to historians, the bell tower also served as a status symbol for the locals. The bell would ring more loudly and more times during the wedding of a prominent clan that it would during the wedding of the poor.

To get there:

By Plane:

Laoag is the gateway to Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

Philippine Airlines flies between Manila and Laoag daily. Book your flights now at: http://www.philippineairlines.com

· From the Laoag Airport, Paoay Church is 45min – an hour away. Vans and tricycles are available outside of the airport.

· Travel time is around an hour

By Bus:

There are hourly bus rides to Laoag via Farinas, Florida and Partas.

· Travel time is around 10-12 hours

· Price range: 800php ($19) and up

     From the bus terminal, Paoay Church is 45min – an hour away. Vans and tricycles are available outside of the terminal

For more information and assistance:

Ilocos Norte Tourism Office Provincial Capitol +63-77-772-1211 loc 119 + 63-77-770-4242

www.ilocosnorte.gov.ph [email protected] [email protected]

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