Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ilocos Norte: A Stopover in Paoay Church

It was a long day of traversing Ilocos Norte from north to south. We left Pagudpud in the morning, then made stops in Bangui and Burgos and arrived a little past noon time in Laoag City. The tricycle driver we hired in Laoag, assured us we can visit all tourist spots in Batac and Paoay before flying back to Manila later that afternoon. So after eating our late lunch we proceed directly to Batac and viewed the late President Ferdinand Marcos waxed remains and the museum which displayed his legacy. From Batac, we went straight to the town Paoay. Upon disembarking from the tricycle at the town center, we stood in awe watching the grandeur of the gorgeously massive Paoay Church.

The Church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines. More popularly known as Paoay Church, it is one of the most treasured churches in the country. A classic example of Baroque Earthquake architecture, the church's walls are flanked with massive buttresses to strengthen it against seismic movements. Aside from Baroque, Paoay Church also exudes Javanese influence with pyramidal niches topping not only the buttresses but also the pillars of the facade.

The coral stone bell tower stood at a distance from the church. This was done to protect the church in case the tower will collapse during an earthquake. According to our guide, the late Action Movie King Fernando Poe Jr. jumped off from the tower in one of his old movies. Of course, layers of foam were placed on the ground to protect his landing.

The scorching hot afternoon did not deter us from having our photo ops outside the church. The tricycle driver slash guide became our photographer and he took very good images. I especially loved the cobblestone walkway leading to the main door as it perfectly complimented the church's timeless charm.

We then went inside the church via the entrance on its left side. We discovered that the church's simple interiors are in direct contrast to its grand exteriors. The walls are simply painted white while the steel trusses supporting the corrugated roof can be seen on the uncovered ceiling.

After saying prayers of gratefulness for our wonderful journey, we then boarded the tricycle and headed toward our next destination. 


  1. Your photos are mind blowing. I really feel the beauty and heritage of Ilocos Norte. Thank you for posting this article! Jones Lander of Hotel Management System, Jinisys Software Inc., Ground Floor Cebu Holdings, Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu 6000, (032) 415 8647

  2. I've been in Ilocos but we just missed to visit this church. Maybe, in our next visit. The photos here are stunning!

  3. The Church of San Agustin is always ready for photo shoot. I like the effect more when it reflects the rays of the sunset.

  4. Great blog. This church is really a historical. I've been in Ilocos also, but I haven't been there. Do you have any suggestions where else to go in Ilocos?

  5. Your beautiful pics of the Paoay Church impressed upon me and give me an idea of what I will be seeing when I'm there. The closed up pics were excellent. I will be going to Ilocos Norte and Sur come May, 2015. I know my friends and I will definitely be in for an exciting and ancient land when we are there! Thank You! CTFoo, Malaysia


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