Paoay Church in Ilocos is one of the four baroque churches in the Philippines identified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The other three are the Miag-ao Church (Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church) in Iloilo, the San Agustin Church in Manila and the La Asuncion de la Nuestra Señora in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. The Paoay Church is also known as St. Augustine Church.
The construction of the Paoay Church was started by the Augustinian friars in 1694. The church was damaged during the earthquakes in 1865 and 1885. During the Filipino-Spanish war in the late 1800’s, the church’s bell tower served as an observation post for Filipino guerrillas.
From the town of Currimao, it took us approximately 30 minutes to get to the town of Paoay. If you’re planning of going to Paoay Lake or to the Paoay sand dunes, then a stopover at Paoay Church is a must. The Paoay Church is just few of the many baroque churches left after the Spanish era. Since we were in a hurry that time, I wasn’t able to take much photos of the church’s interiors. I noticed though that the interiors’ original design was not retained, maybe an effect of several renovations done in the past.
If you’re in Ilocos for the Bangui Windmills or the beaches in Pagudpud, going to Paoay may take you two hours worth of drive. Paoay is located south of the town of Bangui.