A tale of the tiles


I just found the match of a personal favorite, roaming-around-Ilocos photo. The photo, I titled “Tiled”, was posted among a montage of photos of the Andres abode I featured in the latter part of 2012.

Serendipity finds inception…

Paoay Chiurch

(Image courtesy of Leehua Lu)

The floor of the Unesco World Heritage Site Paoay Church in Leehua’s photo made my eyes pop in wonderment, more so because Roy got the “facts” mixed-up like a weng-weng cocktail. Following the Andres abode shoot, we found nothing but marble tiles (definitely not original vintage) at Laoag’s St. William Cathedral. After a Catholic monsignor has defined restoration as ruination in the baduy-ation of the Laoag cathedral, I can’t tell if the tiles at the Baroque Paoay Church, completed in 1710, are the original. In any respect, remnants of history serve to inspire, evoke that sense of place, but human nature wields power and we’re left with a few choices,  more often than not,  no option at all. There will come a time that preservation and conservancy will only be found in Webster’s.

The Paoay Church tile reproductions in the Andres abode were made in San Nicolas. Hahah, that’s if my insider wasn’t busy eating Dr. Robbie’s pesto pasta baby.

Update: My fashion designer friend Loejai Lopez just gave me a heads up. The tiles are called machuca tiles. According to the Machuca Tile Inc, the premier producer of the the Mediterranean design painted cement tiles in the Philippines, they “paved some of the most famous churches in the Philippines, as well as the homes of some of the country’s most illustrious families.” Known as baldoza mosaico or simply baldoza, it was renamed machuca after Don Jose Machuca y Romeo, the founder of the tile manufacturer. Found a cool relevant post on homes paved in machuca tiles. So the machuca tiles of the St. Augustine in Paoay Church may have been manufactured by the Machuca Tile Inc after all.

(With special thanks to Loejai Lopez for the machca tile info)

Paoay Church TilesTo churchAngel of Holy WaterPaoay Church

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

6 thoughts on “A tale of the tiles

  1. I went there last year and took pictures of the tiles because they had Machuca tiles also at the other Unesco Heritage Site, the church in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur but they were so faded from age. Did they replace them with new ones? They looked like patchwork of different designs, maybe some have been replaced. They are charming nonetheless.

    • someone says they were part of a beautification program in the late 70s. i’ll try to find out once i go back to Paoay. I can’t find a link to the chrurch’s tile description.

    • After I’ve submitted my comment, I realized that the ones in the picture are the tiles at the middle but the one I noticed were the tiles behind the angels holding the holy water.

    • two designs were used actually. should have posted more photos, but i can save the whole floor for perhaps a follow-up post:)

  2. the tiles at the middle are all original ones. in my childhood, only the center part of the church had tiles. both sides were left rough. until the early part of the ’90s. (notice that the tiles on each side are with different design)

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