Touring Ilocos Norte: Paoay Church

The Paoay Church is the second UNESCO World Heritage Site church I’ve seen. My first was the St. Paul Ruins in Macau. Paoay Church is a prime example of a Baroque Church made in the Philippines, adapted to withstand the earthquakes that can plague the country. Located in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, this church was made in 1694 and completed in 200 years later.  This church is known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines, and is made of baked bricks, coral rocks, tree sap and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support.

The top facade is intricate and has carved doorways with statues in them.

Its bell tower, by itself, is also rich in history. It was used by the Katipuneros during the Spanish Revolution as an observation post, and later on by Filipino guerillas during the Japanese Occupation in World War II. Before walking around the inside of the church, I had to go to the Bell Tower and touch it. I touched history!! Haha! That sounds extremely nerdy but I’m not sorry. I am a nerd and I love history. (On my Vietnam trip, my favorite memory was the War Remnants Museum and learning all about the Vietnam War through the artifacts).

We visited the church during our first night in Ilocos, so here’s Paoay Church and the bell tower at night (with me in front of it). This photo (and most of the photos on this trip) was taken by my uncle with his Nikon D300, tripod and external flash. It was not edited in any way, except to add a watermark.


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