When Mother Goose asked us where we have been to in Iloilo and my sister told her we have seen three churches, she said that we have gone a long way for a visita iglesia. But how can we resist? These old structures are so beautiful, grand, and historic you can almost set aside the horrible things that came from the Spanish colonization era.
The first thing we saw was the Jaro Cathedral. I think the proper name is St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. The popular name is Candelaria (candles) Church. It is said that the statue of the patron saint actually grows. According to my Tita Nancy, it was taken out of its original place to be blessed by Pope John Paul II in the past and after the blessing the statue grew so much and it cannot fit the old space anymore. It is not located at a much bigger stand in front of the cathedral that you can climb unto.
But to me, the most interesting bit about the church is the fact that the bell tower is separate from the church. It is actually opposite the church on the other side of the road. However, the structure that you see is already two parts. It was destroyed by an earthquake before and some of the top part had to be rebuilt.
Another interesting church in Iloilo is the Molo Church. I think it is St. Anne Church. All of the statues inside were female! I think that rocks. What is cool about churches in Iloilo, I noticed, is that the statues are located on each pillar leading to the altar. It is as if they are standing guard and are fervently watching.
The last church we saw is the Miagao church. You have probably heard about it, after all it is the most photographed church in the province. It is so beautiful! The carved exterior takes your breathe away. This is the first time I saw a church with a sculpted facade. It is grand, imposing, and bold. It was declared a UN world heritage and by the looks of this baroque church, I can definitely see why.
I think the churches in the south have so much character and attitude and for one, our own here can fit inside them so it is always fascinating to pay them a visit. Btw, that is my sister on the photos 🙂
Special thanks to Tita Nancy, Manong Port, Tita Janet, Tito Totek, Lola Conching and family.