Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Located on the southern coast of Laoag, Paoay Town boasts of two things: The Paoay Church and Paoay Lake.
The Paoay Church one of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an outstanding example of the Philippine Earthquake Baroque Architecture, adapting to our seismicity. The church structure has huge buttresses in its sides and the rear of the church to protect it from earthquakes. The facade is richly made with Philippine Symbols. The facade just had a recent limestone retouch but give it time to be exposed to the elements, the facade will look battered again.
The church dates from the establishment of a separate Paoay town in the early 18th century. The church is dedicated after St. Augustine, the church is officially named St. Augustine Church but is more popularly known as the Paoay Church. (San Agustin in Manila is dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, but being the Augustinian Mother Church made San Agustin stick more.)
The Paoay town is also famous for its lake, which is subject to a very popular legend surrounding its origin. They say, that the site of the lake was once a site of an advanced and prosperous town, but they turned greedy and evil so that God submerged the town in deep floods. After the deluge, the old town is no more, it was already deep in the lake. Until now, locals in Paoay claim they see houses deep in the lake and fishes with “gold earrings” with them. At the Laoag City side of the lake is the Malacanang of the North.
Travelling to Paoay isn’t easy as it is not aligned with the National Highway. When communting to it, the best way is to travel from Laoag City through a jeep in the Batac City Highway Junction.