Day 2A - Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Paoay Travel Blog› entry 4 of 15 › view all entries
June 8th, 2008 – by: planisphere
We packed our stuffs, checked out of the Heritage House, then at around 9 AM, we were aboard of PARTAS bus to Laoag - the capital city of Ilocos Norte. We arrived at around 11:30 AM, we took a tricycle ride to Tiffany Hotel. This flamboyant hotel is situated at the heart of Laoag, to it's far right, one can already see the famous sinking tower. The hotel itself is an attraction for its color - mosty pink and purple.
After settling down, it was time to meet kuya Ted who was in Macy's Cafe, the cafeteria adjacent to our hotel. We had a long lunch there, the four TBs - planisphere, isabetlog, jenneth, ted. We had our usual Ilocano meal - bagnet, rice and some more local dishes (bopis et al). Ilocano meal never fails to excite me - be it a simple pinakbet or lavish meal with bagnet, poquipoqui and some other native food. For our dessert, kuya ted and jen shared on a serving of banana split, isabetlog had her favorite ice cream on stick, mine is green tea ice cream.
After lunch, it was time to visit our third stop of this trip: Paoay town for its famous church.
San Agustin Church a.k.a Paoay Church was built between 1704 to 1894. Inspired by gothic, baroque and oriental architecture, it represented the Spanish, Filipino and Chinese influences that are unique to the Philippines. The Spanish friar-builders were no architects by any means and they only had to rely on their memories when constructing the church, so they re-interpreted the European baroque into what was obviously Filipino in spirit.
The church was built to withstand earthquakes which are very common to the north; the walls are more than 3 feet thick, and all made of coral blocks, tree sap, stucco-plastered bricks and lumber.
There are now columns permanently set up to support the ceiling. The interior of the church is not as impressive as the outside. The preservation effort is still going on, evident of the trusses and columns on the ceiling of the church. Elderly patrons used to recall the church ceiling was painted blue, with white clouds that made one feel like going to heaven. I hope this celestial feel of the church will be brought back by the restoration efforts being done.
The Paoay Church was declared a national treasure by President Marcos in order to preserve its state. It is now included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List side by side with San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Sta. Maria Church our first stop and Miag-ao Church in Ilo-ilo, the only one on the list that I have not yet visited.
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