I was a tad disappointed with Laoag City itself. There simply wasn't anything to do, and the city just seemed stagnant. I was all set to leave for Baguio on the first available bus on Friday morning. However, a couple of text exchanges with Kathy, Sacha's sister, convinced me to at least give a couple of sights in the nearby area a quick look.
That's exactly what I did. I took an early morning jeepney to Paoay. 'Twas a long ride, and all the while, I had misgivings about the time. Then I saw it, and my jaw fairly dropped: Paoay Church.
The architecture of Paoay Church follows what they call "earthquake baroque", and it is truly massive. The informational plate reads:
Parish founded by Augustinian Missionaries, 1593. Cornerstone of church laid 1704; of convent, 1707; of bell tower, 1793. Used before completion and kept in repair by the people under the joint auspices of the Church and the town officials. Inauguration ceremonies 28 February 1896. Church damaged by earthquake 1706 and 1927. Tower used as observation post by Katipuneros during the Revolution, by guerrillas during the Japanese occupation.
This photo should give an idea of the scale. It was just stunning.