History has it that the parish of Paoay church was founded by Augustinian Missionaries in 1593 -- which is why this church is in Paoay, and where its cornerstone was laid only in 1704 -- is called St. Augustine Catholic Church. The church was damaged by an earthquake in 1706 and 1927. Its construction primarily was intended to withstand earthquakes. The huge belltower was used as an observation post for Katipuneros during the revolution in the late 1800s, and was later used by local resistance forces during the second world war when the Philippines was occupied by Japan.
Paoay is probably one of the best known churches in the Philippines. Constuction for this church started in the early 1700s, and was completed before 1900. The walls are more than 1 meter thick -- made of coral stones. The design of the church is a mixture of Gothic, Oriental and Baroque influence. No one mentioned though how many Filipinos died in building this church, and how many were forced to by Spanish conquerors bringing their religion with them -- to oppress and scare the people.
This church is now one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. It currently is a property of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Paoay, Ilocos Norte