Walking on the laid-back, groovy and traffic congestion-free streets of Paoay would allow you to get fascinated by this recurring symbolism that's everywhere—that, if you're a curious soul and observant with purpose to learn.

[Paoay, Ilocos Norte Province, Ilocos Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE

I was enjoying the chill room temperature inside my hotel while my physiologic status was on deep sleep until I woke up hearing a voice inside the room. I woke up seeing Berniemack Arellano and another man. Bernie introduced to me that he was BJ and I realized he's one of the officials of the Paoay LGU. Well, it's almost 12:00 PM and the activities would start soon.

Without taking a bath, I left the room with confidence and feeling fresh (from sleep). Fellow bloggers (all were my first time to meet in person except Bernie) were already waiting at the hotel lobby.The walk started with BJ describing everything we saw along the way.

PAOAY CHURCH
BJ, OUR TOUR GUIDE SLASH TOURISM OFFICER OF PAOAY
It felt good especially that I was with people with the same interests as mine covering blogging, traveling, heritage and culture. I wouldn't mind the high noon sun if this walk would mean enriching my humanness and knowledge. I've wished it could improve sex appeal and six-pack abs too though but that's another story.
Revelation 1: The Spirals
Now, the end is near. The end of my longing for answers to my questions and enlightenment to my curious self about the mysterious symbolism was near with BJ revealing everything he knows about Paoay just before I asked about it. Actually, one of the things that boggled my mind was the series of spirals in town. Well, seeing it reminds me of the massive buttresses of the Paoay Church but that's just the surface. There's a deeper meaning.

PAOAY TOWN PLAZA
THIS TALIKOGENIC GIRL STOOD WITH GRACE BESIDE A POST WITH A SPIRAL.
Walking on the laid-back, groovy and traffic congestion-free streets of Paoay would allow you to get fascinated by this recurring symbolism that's everywhere—that, if you're a curious soul and observant with purpose to learn. I said "with the purpose to learn" because some people might just see these symbols as mere decorations or designs for aesthetic or artworks ranging from stupid to Michelangelo-worthy.  Otherwise, they wouldn't care.

For someone who occasionally overthinks (well, occasionally), I find this symbol interesting. Well, I wasn't really looking for some deep meanings as unfathomable as the Philippine Trench. Knowing the reason why it's there was just a little curiosity I had to satisfy so I wouldn't mind if the purpose was for fun, for random decoration or was a result of an art-design contest.

But because I am aware that these spirals could be seen at the Paoay Church, I know they were suggestive of some cultural and historical events. 

PAOAY TOWN PLAZA
THIS BOY SHOWED ME THE CHILL WAY TO SPOT YOUR CRUSH WHILE SITTING INSIDE A SHADE WITH SPIRAL ACCENTS.
My thoughts about it was correct when BJ told us that the spirals are cultural symbols. It's reminiscent of the paganism practices of the people of Paoay (and most likely many parts of the Philippines that time—'cause I also noticed some spirals in Tayum, Abra and Aguilar, Pangasinan).

When the Spaniards came, they found out that the locals have indigenous practices and belief with the sun god. On why these spirals were incorporated with this Roman Catholic church is a story I'm gonna write soon. Sorry but I have to cut the details and stories here because I have another post in mind dedicated for this topic. So in the meantine, revelation 1 is about the spirals and my thoughts that these are cultural symbols were confirmed.

We continued our walk and BJ showed us more of these spirals carved on the walls of the Paoay Church.

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Spirals are very evident on Paoay Church. It's reminiscent of the sun god of the ancient people.

PAOAY CHURCH
Series of spirals were carved on the big buttresses of the Paoay Church.

PAOAY CHURCH

Beside the church was a modern-day cobblestone street that complemented very well with the classic and old-world feel of the massive Paoay Church.

It was a pedestrian-friendly street with locals randomly walking and children playing with their bikes. It was so local!

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These youngsters from Paoay were enjoying their playtime with their bikes pass the modern-day cobblestone segment of the street beside the Paoay Church.

PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE
Old Paoay souls randomly walking on a street beside the Paoay Church.

PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE

The high noon walk continued with BJ passionately sharing his knowledge of the very soul and history of Paoay. We went in front of the Paoay Church and it felt good to see it again, now with more fascination and awe because of the amazing stories I just learned associated with it.

I appreciated Paoay Church more than ever.

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Blocks of letters were placed in front of the Paoay Church.

PAOAY, CHURCH
A stage was set up in front of the Paoay Church for the night's activity.

PAOAY, CHURCH
PAOAY, CHURCH
Beside the buttresses is a stair overgrown with grasses and shrubs.

PAOAY, CHURCH

BJ didn't mention about this (maybe because it was already very obvious) but I personally noticed that the spiral was also present on the lawn in front of the Paoay Church. Indeed, this symbol has branded Paoay this way and I think it was a clever idea.

PAOAY CHURCH
THIS HUGE SPIRAL COMPLEMENTED WELL WITH THE PAOAY CHURCH.
The first revelation I just learned was the best thing I learned in this trip. However, there are equally wonderful revelations I learned that time.

The story continues.
Revelation 2: The Perimeter Wall
The perimeter wall of the Paoay Church, oftentimes, gets unnoticed. It's equally beautiful though. If you try to examine the walls, you'd see fourteen (14) cross carvings in all.

PAOAY CHURCH
A CROSS CARVED ON THE PERIMETER WALL OF PAOAY CHURCH
These cross carvings may actually suggest the stations of the cross (aka Way of the Cross, Way of Sorrows or Via Crucis). 

It may signify that during the old times, the people of Paoay practiced the Via Crucis tradition just around the Paoay Church.
*******************************************

Above are the first two revelations I learned in Paoay and I swear there's more to be told later on this series.

PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE
CHILDREN RANDOMLY WALKING AROUND TOWN
We continued the walk and I noticed some new improvements around Paoay. One of them is the application of cobblestone on the streets surrounding the Paoay Church. It was pleasing to see.

On the other side of the church was a crowd. A table about 50 meters in length was put up. Hmmm... This was the moment I was waiting for. | to be continued... |

✈ BLOGSERYE 3: ILOCOS NORTE TRAVEL DRAMA - FEBRUARY 2017

▼ PART 1 | PART 2 | ▼ PART 03

COMING SOON! LIKE THE EDMARATION PAGE FOR UPDATES



« BLOGSERYE 2 BLOGSERYE 3 BLOGSERYE 4 »

Map Showing the Location of #Paoay

MAP OF PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] The above story is Part 2 of a blogserye (blog series). Come back soon for the Part 3.

[2] The stories I told above were actually technical. If you think there were some errors on the facts or theories I mentioned, do not hesitate to correct me because I stand corrected. But please, cite the basis of your argument.

[3] I would like to thank Mr Bernard Joseph Guerrero of the Paoay tourism office for hosting us in Paoay as well as to the Paoay LGU for welcoming us in your beautiful town!

[4] This post was filed under the category "Travel Diaries." See more posts related to this below.


[5] The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[6] All photos are mine.

[7] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #PAOAY | SEE ALL #PAOAY STORIES »

MORE STORIES COVERING ILOCOS NORTE PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »

MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY (TRAVEL DIARIES)
SEE OLDER STORIES COVERING 'TRAVEL DIARIES' »

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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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