Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte was beautiful. It was a breath of fresh air in our rugged trip through Ilocandia. Though I have seen majestic churches like Cologne Cathedral in Germany, Westminster Abbey in England and others through Europe and America, I am also proud of our churches here in the Philippines like this one in Paoay which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They never fail to remind us of our rich heritage and the strength of the Roman Catholic religion.
What added to the beauty of the church was the well-manicured park beside it. The loveliness of the place makes it very ideal for weddings, don’t you think? I kidded the hubby that I like to walk down the aisle again here, after which he said we couldn’t possibly exchange vows every two years, hehe. Kudos to the people in this town for keeping the church clean and pretty.
It is worth reading the history of Paoay Church (formally known as the St. Augustine Church) which combines Gothic, Baroque and Oriental elements in its design. According to the marker in the Church, its foundation was laid out in 1704, and it was damaged by the earthquakes of 1706 and 1927. An interesting fact is that the tower of the church was used as an observation post during the revolution of 1896 and also during the Japanese Occupation.
My visit to Paoay church reminded me of another impressive religious structure we made during the early part of the trip, the similarly named St. Augustine Parish Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur and its equally-famous Bell Tower.
It was strange that the bell tower was separated from the church. Going to the top was quite a climb, but there’s something about making the climb and enjoying the view. There were three bells in the tower and I had fun making attempts at black and white photography with them 😉
Anyway, when you’re in Paoay Church, have a snack or eat in Herencia Cafe just across it. This resto prides itself of its Pinakbet Pizza – think about eggplant, string beans and ampalaya in your pizza. Unfortunately, we weren’t feeling adventurous that day so hubby just ordered plain old Hawaiian pizza, while I had Pasta Ilocandia (supposedly made of crumbled longanisa bits, but it didn’t prove outstanding.)
Anyway, the table near us had Dinuguan Pizza (!!!) – dinuguan with cheese and bagnet bits. They seemed to have a good time. 😀
It was a busy afternoon at the cafe and I was getting bored waiting an eternity for our order to arrive. I couldn’t help but notice that the base of the dining tables were recycled from Singer sewing machines. What a neat surprise!