Paoay Church


The San Augustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte is One out of the Four Baroque Churches of the Philippines and designated as a World Heritage Site. The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is the official designation to a collection of four Spanish-era churches in the Philippines, upon its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.

The collection is composed of the following:
San Agustin Church in Manila
Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

These churches have a unique architectural style known as Earthquake Baroque which called for the emphasis on the buttresses and foundations of these churches to survive earthquakes. The most imposing of these buttresses could be found in Paoay Church, while the true testament of this architecture could be seen in San Agustin Church, Manila, the only structure in Intramuros to survive World War II. (Read More… Wikipedia on Baroque Churches of the Philippines…)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.The programme aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind. (Read More: Wikipedia on World Heritage Site)

You should never miss this and I made that mistake a couple of times already because I was not informed about the historical significance of this place. You should read this article by Heritage Conservation Society:

“The church was started by the Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo in 1694. It was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896, just three years before the expulsion of Spanish rule in the country. The style of the church has been dubbed “Earthquake Baroque” by Alicia Coseteng, one of the early authorities on colonial church architecture. Because the buttresses extend out considerably from the exterior walls, the entire visual experience becomes three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only at the facade.” (Read More: Heritage Conservation Society: on Earthquake Baroque: Paoay Church in the Ilocos)

Links and Resources Wikipedia Heritage Conservation Society in the Philippines


4 thoughts on “Paoay Church

  1. paoay church is enchanting at night =) there’s also a quaint italian place (herencia) just in front of it. i loved the pizza and homemade ice cream!

  2. I love Herencia!
    You have to try their Pinakbet Pizza (even if you don’t like pinakbet!) I’ve brought a lot of people (from balikbayans, Manilenos to locals who have not heard of the place before) and have not encountered anybody who didn’t like the Pinakbet Pizza (even non-vegetable lovers!).
    Their “Catch of the Day” meal is also very good with really good fish & turmeric-flavored rice.

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