on November 4, 2011
The St. Augustine Church is more popularly known as Paoay Church. Paoay is actually the name of the town where it is located. The Church is one of the most iconic structures of the Ilocos Norte region. Photos of it are usually used for postcards for Ilocos Norte.The Church has been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is no surprise because compared to many other churches in the Philippines, it is one of the most well-preserved among the old baroque churches built during the Spanish times.The structure was built from corals, bricks, tree sap and lumber. The structure was initially established by Augustinian friars in the late 1694. It was fully finished in 1894. Not only does the church have religious significance, it also has a very significant place in Philippine history. During the revolution against the Spaniards, its bell tower was used as a look out post for the Katipuneros. The Katipuneros were the rebel fighters who fought for freedom against Spain. It once again became a strategic watchtower during World War II against the Japanese.In front of the church is a well-manicured lawn where families and friends hang out. The emerald green grass provide a contrast against the dull red and gray of the church. There are also a couple of acacia trees which provide people cool shade especially during warm summers. If you go inside, the interior is definitely more modern than its exterior, though there are some old statues of saints and confessional boxes that still remain. Even the old style elevated pulpit for the priests is still there but has become more decorative rather than functional. Looking at the Paoay Church, it is no wonder that it has become iconic of Ilocos Norte. It is living memory of a colorful religious and historical past of the Philippines.
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