Earthquake Baroque Church of Paoay
Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
9Trip End Jan 13, 2008
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From the gate, we already saw the exquisite design of the facade. And as we approached the entrance door, we feel dwarfed by its magnificent presence. The church stands at the center of a wide green lawn against the blue sky as its backdraft. A sight to behold!
The church is known for its earthquake baroque design. But the intricate details show some gothic and oriental inspiration. The lower part of the facade was made of stuccoed brick while the upper facade is made of coral blocks. Carved on the front wall were big floral designs, and enshrined on top of it is the statute of its patron saint. The side walls are 1.67 meters wide and is supported by 26 massive buttresses intricately carved with spiral and floral designs
The church is built from blocks of corral rubble put together and covered with red bricks hardened by mixture of local materials such as mixing sand, lime, sugarcane juice and then boiling the mixture with mangeao (salbot) leaves, leather and rice straw for two nights.
Beside the church but separately standing, is its bell tower. It was used by the Katipuneros during the Revolution, and later by the Filipino guerillas during the Japanese Occupation as their observation post.
This fortress-like church was was declared a national treasure by then President Ferdinand Marcos.
In an excavation conducted inside the church in 2000, a prehistoric human skeleton and fragmented ceramics were discovered and are now on display at the National Museum.
Today, the church is undergoing restoration under the auspices of UNESCO.