Paoay church in Ilocos to get facelift

March 16, 2011 10:36 pm 

MANILA, March 16 – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte has announced a plan to restore Paoay Church.

The renovation of the St. Augustine Church or Paoay Church will also involve the towns of San Nicolas and Currimao and the cities of Laoag and Batac.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said the project aims to make the province becomes the country’s “northern gateway.”

“We have a lot of potential tourist attraction to be developed, enriched and appreciated, and to be enjoyed,” the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website said, quoting Marcos.

Renowned architect Felino Palafox was tapped to design the tourism plan surrounding Paoay Church like the plaza, the ruins of the Catholic convent and the frontage of a state-run university.

A commercial arcade, which would feature the town’s unique products, along a stretch of the road lining the Paoay Church will also rise to generate more tourist activities.

Construction of Paoay Church was started by the Augustinian friars in 1694. Led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo, it was completed in 1894 and was re-dedicated in the same year.

During the revolution in 1898, its coral stone bell tower was used by the Katipuneros as an observation post.

Paoay Church is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is currently a property of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte. (PNA) LAP/LOR/jmc


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