Paoay Church - Ilocos Norte

Located in Marcos Avenue in the town of Paoay in the province of Ilocos Norte, Paoay Church is listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Paoay Church is also one of the oldest and most popular Spanish colonial-era churches in the Philippines.

Paoay Church

Paoay Church history

Formally called St. Augustine Church, Paoay Church was constructed sometime in the late 1600s and was finally completed in 1710.

Paoay Church - Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Paoay Church altar

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

Check out the beautiful stained glass decoration

Paoay Church has twenty-four massive buttresses which make it look more like 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 Church Belltower

During our trip to Paoay last 2011, 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 on your computer. One will surely be astonished once they are standing face to face with the unforgettable facade of the Paoay Church.

Team Nicerio visits Paoay Church

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 frames.

The Backpack Adventures visits Paoay Church
The Backpack Adventures visits Paoay Church

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".

Paoay Church Entrance Fee:

It's FREE to enter and explore Paoay Church and its grounds.

Paoay Church Mass Schedule:

Sunday: 6AM - 7AM / 7:30AM - 8:30AM / 9AM -10AM / 5:30PM - 6:30PM
Mon -Fri: 6AM - 7AM

Why visit Paoay Church?

Paoay Church is one of the most beautiful Spanish Colonial churches in the Philippines. It's also a must-visit destination if you are on a pilgrimage or Visita Iglesia in the province of Ilocos Norte.

Getting to Paoay Church:

1. From Manila/ Cubao, ride a bus bound for Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
2. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Batac City, Ilocos Norte.
3. From Batac City take a tricycle or jeepney going to Paoay.
tricycle fare: P40
jeepney fare: P8-10

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