Credits to: Wikipedia
The Saint Augustine Church, famously known as the Paoay Church, takes you back to the Philippine’s Spanish colonial era with its charming baroque architecture. Being over three decades old, this marvelous national cultural treasure truly stands the test of time.
What to expect
Built from 1694 to 1710, Paoay Church is the most outstanding example of earthquake baroque architecture in the Philippines. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, Paoay Church is nothing short of wonderful!
The architecture of Paoay Church exudes attention to detail since the coral stone blocks and brick walls are supported by 24 buttresses. East meets west as the church’s facade and walls showcase Javanese architecture reminiscent of The Borobudur of Java.
As a two-part wonder, there is also a three-storey coral stone bell tower that stands beside the Paoay Church. It is situated a few meters away from the church as a protection against damage during earthquakes.
There are several points of interest around the church complex like the San Agustin Prayer Garden, the Old Convent which is the perfect backdrop for special events and other functions, the Arte Luna Art Gallery, and the Paseo de Paoay that has shops, restaurants, and exhibit halls.
Where to experience it
Laoag is accessible from Metro Manila by land travel which takes 8 to 9 hours by car. It is linked by a first class national road located parallel to the coastline of the Ilocos Region.
For a quick trip, you may opt to take a direct flight from Manila to Laoag which takes approximately an hour. From the airport, there are public jeepneys and tricycles that can take you to the city proper.
It’s around 18 kilometers from Laoag to Paoay with an approximate travel time of 45 minutes.