Iloilo has a rich history and culture and one of the most prominent element that all Illongos are proud of, the old building and churches that still stand strong till today.
There are countless of churches in Iloilo, let alone those with more than a hundred years history, so I set down a list of the churches that I really want to see and we dedicated a day just to go around to check them out. Yep, we had a church hopping day and we end up feeling so resurrected and glorified at the end of the day! Hehe…
[Philippines December 2013]
27 December 2013
Molo Church, Tigbauan Church & Guimbal Church
I have no idea exactly how many churches there are in Iloilo but I am sure of those I would love to see. Well, call me shallow if you want, but I picked them according to how magnificent or amazing they already looked in the photos available online before I did a brief history check.
Of course, a church hopping day isn’t for anybody. It has to leave a great impression on me before I even want to see them in real life or I’m sure anyone will be bored through and through if you’re not into the architecture and history. And the interesting part of the church hopping day, we attended a couple of weddings, a mass family gathering and a funeral all in all! Quite amazing! So here’s the first installment of the churches in Iloilo I visited!…
The Church of St. Anne, or more commonly known as Molo Church, is a Roman Catholic parish church built in 1831. The church is made of coral rocks affixed with mortar made from egg whites mixed with sand and it is the only Gothic church in the entire Philippines outside of Manila.
The structure of Molo Church is so sturdy that it has withstood several earthquakes. It was made as an evacuation center for civilians during Word War II and both bell towers were destroyed after the Americans suspected it was used for military purposes by the Japanese that the bells still bear scars of bullet shots.
Hmmm speaking of which, I remember seeing a broken bell in the church during my visit. Might be one that didn’t survive the firing during that time!
St. John of Sahagun Parish (Tigbauan Church)
The church was constructed using forced labor in 1867 with a beautiful baroque facade in rococo finish and just like Molo Church, the structure survived the earthquake and the ravages of World War II.
The plaza in front of the church is still bustling with the Christmas makeshift stalls while we were on our church hopping day so it was pretty tough to get a good and clear shot of the facade! Or maybe, I need a wide-angle lens or a better vantage point. Haha!
Tigbauan church is much smaller as compared to Molo Church but we were equally flabbergasted when we stepped inside. Every inch of the church wall is decorated with colorful stone intricately arranged to form mosaic murals! Pretty amazing!
The churchyard of Tigbauan Church that remained as a market of what used to be the site of the first Jesuit boarding school for boys in the Philippines established in 1592 and renowned that time for their liturgical music during church services.
Parish of St. Nicholas of Tolentino (Guimbal Church)
Built in 1774 and one of the oldest church in the Philippines, the yellow sandstone church is made from adobe stones called igang and coral stones quarried from Guimaras.
However, it has gone through reconstruction twice after World War II and the earthquake respectively and rehabilitated to its original structure only recently.
The 4-storey tall belfy of Guimbal Church doubles as a watch tower during the Spanish occupation against pillaging Moro pirates. And this shot of the church’s belfry is one of my favorite shot during our church hopping trip! 🙂
And with that, this is the first half of our trip to check out some of the many churches in Iloilo! Stay tuned for the second installment! 😀
Most posts from Philippines December 2013 travelogue series:
- Harbor View Restaurant, Fort Santiago & Intramuros and Padi’s Point | Manila, Philippines
- Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
- Iloilo Esplanade & Cholabite | Iloilo, Philippines
- Molo Church, Tigbauan Church & Guimbal Church | Iloilo, Philippines
- Miag-ao Church, San Joaquin Cemetery, San Joaquin Church & Jaro Metropolitan Church | Iloilo, Philippines
- 7 EATS in Iloilo | Iloilo, Philippines