Sunday, November 4, 2012

Iloilo Church Visit

28 October 2012. Iloilo.

We met Kuya Raffy Evangelista of Light of Glory Taxi Services on our first day in Iloilo. He gladly offered to be our tour guide on our last day in the province, and we arranged the itinerary with him: whole day tour of the province's churches for Php3,500.00. I requested San Joaquin; he offered to bring us to the airport for our 8.30 flight back to Manila. The deal was made.

First stop, San Joaquin.

Located along the main highway of the town of San Joaquin, the cemetery is probably the grandest I have ever been. According to my readings, the cemetery was initiated by Fray Mariano Vamba, the last Augustinian parish priest of the town. A grand staircase leads to the capilla, also known as Campo Santo, which is made of baked bricks and coral rocks.

Built by the Augustinian Order in 1869, the San Joaquin Church is known as the only church in the country with a militaristic facade.
Second stop, Miagao.
Also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, the church in the town of Miagao is the most famous in Iloilo. It is one of the four baroque churches in the Philippines which was listed as a National Heritage. According to the marker, the construction of the church began in 1787 and was finished in 1797. It served as a fortress against Muslim raiders. The church underwent a lot of restoration due to damages caused by fire and earthquake.
Third stop, Guimbal.
The rain suddenly decided to make a quick visit when we reached Guimbal, which explains the quick photo shoot. Guimbal church is one of the oldest churches in the country. This yellow sandstone church is made from adobe stones called Igang, and coral stones quarried from Guimaras. According to my readings, the church was built in 1774 by Father Campos.
Fourth stop, Tigbauan.
The church in Tigbauan was constructed in 1575. At the center of the church's facade is a seal of the Augustinian order. What's nice about this church is its interior - colorful stone murals and mosaics.
Fifth stop, Arevalo.
The church is called the Sto. NiƱo de Arevalo, and I had no idea this church houses one of the three oldest original images of the child Jesus. Maybe because the church has a modern-looking facade. Worthy of notice are the statues of saints at both sides of the church.