Ilocos Norte: Paoay Church

Paoay Church
Listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, Paoay Church is one of the oldest and most popular churches in the Philippines.

Church facade
Located in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, the church was constructed sometime in the the late 1600s and was finally completed in 1710.

Church altar
The church is known for its unique architectural design. It is believed that Paoay church is a mix of Baroque, Gothic, and Oriental architecture. 

Gotta love the shadow
Paoay church has twenty four massive buttresses which makes it look more of a fortress than a church. The church was dubbed "Earthquake Baroque" because of the structural design that allows it to withstand the destructive power of earthquakes.

Paoay's Bell tower
During our trip to Paoay last year, I was particularly excited to see the church. Upon reaching the outskirts of town, the towering facade of the church would slowly unfold inch by inch like an image that is slowly downloading in your computer. One will surely be astonished once they are standing face to face with the unforgettable facade of the Paoay Church.
Neil @ Paoay
However once you enter the edifice, the feeling of astonishment would slowly subside as you would suddenly stare at a bare and empty interior. Years ago the ceiling was painted with scenes similar to that of the Sistine Chapel. Sadly, what was left of the original ceiling are just rusting roof sheets and some old wooden frame.

Check out what I saw in San Agustin Church Museum in Manila!

The good news however was that there was an ongoing renovation of some sort in the interior of the church. Hopefully they could restore the whole glory of one of  Asia's "wonders".

Looks like:

The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.


The sand and dead pharoahs.

Getting there:

1. Take a bus bound for Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
2. Board down at Batac City, Ilocos Norte.
3. From Batac City take a tricycle or jeepney going to Paoay.
tricycle fare: P40
jeepney fare: P8-10

Overall ratings

Check out my blog for the itinerary:


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