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Churches in Ilo Ilo - Philippines Travel Guide
Iloilo is strategically located at the center of the country’s archipelago. This probably one of the reasons why you could find Ilonggos in different parts of the country. They could go south and settle in Mindanao. The could go east and establish Ilonggo-speaking areas in islands like Leyte. They could go west and be an investor in Cebu. And they could go north and join the fast paced life of Manileños. While some Ilonggos spread their influence all over the country. Others bring home the experiences they’ve had from other places and make their own culture richer than ever before. One proof that such two events have happened before is the variety of Ilonggo churches.
Some Iloilo churches receive distinct honor. The Miag-ao Church, which was built in 1786, was named as a national landmark in 1973. This church is also included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Jaro Cathedral is where the seat of the Jaro Archbisphoric is located, This seat takes care of Catholic Christians in the whole expanse of Western Visayas.
Some Iloilo churches boast of the Ilonggo’s prowess in the architectural arts. The Molo Church, located about three kilometers away from heart of the city, has designs that reflect the Gothic and Rennaissance period of art. It was completed in the 1800s. The Guimbal Church is a yellow sandstone church which was built by Father Campos. The Cabatuan Church has a neo-classical design and it was built in the 1880s. And the Pavia Church is a red brick church built along the lines of the Byzantine style.
Some churches of Iloilo were also involved in revolutionary or war activities. For example, the already mentioned Pavia Church was used by Japanese soldiers as a garrison. From this church, they launch guerilla raids against Filipinos and Americans.
Another neo-classical church involved in a revolution was the Sta. Barbara Church. In the Christmas of 1898, General Martin Delgado, of the Visayan revolutionary government, convened a junta in this church to raise the first cry of revolution of Iloilo against Spain.
The San Joaquin church exhibits a sculpture relief that portrays the historic battle between the Christians of Spain and the Moors of Morocco. This battle occurred in Tetuan in 1859, when Filipinos still fought side by side with Spanish soldiers.
Majority of the churches we described here are accessible via the jeepney transport. If you wanted to visit several of them during the day, you may become a bit more adventurous and try the local routes.