The Striking Beauty That Is Paoay Church

To explore up north is already written in Twinny and I's bucket list since God-knows-when. Initially, we planned to tour Ilocos Norte l...

To explore up north is already written in Twinny and I's bucket list since God-knows-when. Initially, we planned to tour Ilocos Norte last year but we opted to go to Tagaytay instead. Late July this year, Twinny chanced upon a pretty good deal from a travel agency — reasonable price + perfect date (Undas Long Weekend-slash-Twinny's 22nd!) — so we hastily reserved slots and paid for down payments.

We were scheduled to depart Manila in the evening of October 29 and as if the universe is teasing the both of us for an early adventure (a.k.a hassle), I had to find the parking area where the driver was for 30 minutes while carrying my heavy baggage (my poor, poor lungs) while Twinny had to meet a client, dinner time at Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

But we managed to escape the hassle and next thing we knew, we were already on the road for a good 9 hours.

After several stopovers, having little to no sleep and having worn out bodies because of sitting for too long, we reached Ilocos Norte at 6 am and had our breakfast at this very quaint bed and breakfast called Sikatel. The place reminded us of the famous all-day breakfast resto in Marikina, The Rustic Mornings; too bad we weren't able to take some photos.

First in our itinerary that day was the St. Augustine Church, or more popularly called as Paoay Church. It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines and is among the major attractions in the province of Ilocos Norte.

Whenever I see it in postcards as a kid, it always remind me of a castle from underwater. Seeing it in person, I was in awe. Words and these photographs cannot give justice to the beauty of this church. Add up the dramatic feels brought by the wonderful clouds.

The church is famous for its unique architecture highlighted by the striking and enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the building. These buttresses were said to be the solution to possible destruction of the church due to earthquake. (reference: wikipedia)

A few meters away is the belltower which served not only as protection against earthquake but also as observation post of the Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution. (reference: wikipedia)

While the facade of the church boasts a Spanish colonial earthquake baroque architecture, the inside has an immaculate and simple interior.

Paoay Church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (reference: wikipedia)

Twinny and I were the only ones left exploring the church mostly because we can't help but take photographs of it and with us in it. After a few clicks here and there, we went back to our van with the other travelers and off we go to our next destination — La Paz Sand Dunes.

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