UNESCO World Heritage Site: Miag-ao Church
The Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva or Miag-ao Church is the only Philippine Baroque church enshrined in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List to be outside Luzon. It was constructed in 1787 and completed in 1797.
Like the Paoay Church, it also served as a fortress against marauding pirates. During the Spanish-Filipino Revolution in 1898, the church was destroyed but subsequently rebuilt. Damaged by fire and earthquake in 1910 and 1948, respectively, full restoration was commenced in 1962 and finished two years later.
The facade was ornately designed. It featured a Santo Niño being carried by Saint Christopher, surrounding them are trees of coconut, papayas, and guavas. The town’s patron saint, Santo Tomas de Villanueva, is at the center of it. Below are the status of Saint Henry and the Pope with their respective coats of arms above them.