Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines

At the rate I am traveling and visiting Philippines and considering the fact that it is the friend’s hometown, it is really no surprise that Iloilo is one of my travel destinations eventually! I sort of regretted not planning to stay and check out Tagaytay but at the same time, glad that we took the earliest flight right after the wedding reception from Manila to Iloio.

But to think about it, Tagaytay can wait for now. History, food and culture, I truly had an entirely different experience of Philippines in Iloilo!

[Philippines December 2013]
23 December 2013
Angelicum School

Angelicum School was first founded in 1978 with only 70 odd students and four teaching staffs and it occupies the compound of Lizares Mansion, an iconic landmark of Iloilo with a strong historical background.

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines[Photo credit:]

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
[Photo credit:]

The mansion, with strong American and Spanish architectural influence, was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares for his wife and their children and the structure holds a total of three storeys, a basement and an attic with a winding wooden staircase and big bedrooms with floor and doors made out of hardwood. The Lizares family left the mansion during World War II for a safe hideout and the fate of the mansion changed ever since.

During wartimes, the Japanese used the mansion as headquarters and it was rumored that the basement had been used as a dumping ground for tortured Filipinos. And when the family moved back to live in the mansion after the war, Don Emiliano Lizares died in 1950 and his widow left for Manila and leased the mansion to a businessman who turned it into a casino.

The city mayor ordered for the casino to be closed claiming that it had corrupted the lifestyle of the Illonggos and the mansion was handed over to a caretaker and his wife to keep it intact until it was finally sold to the Dominicans in 1962.

In 1963, the mansion was converted into a House of Formation for young Dominicans of the Philippines and finally became the home of Angelicum School in 1978.

Today, Angelicum School is a private Catholic School run by the Dominican Province of the Philippines. And every year during Christmas, they will put up lightings for the festivities!

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
When the sun goes down every December, Angelicum School stands out the brightest with its beautiful Christmas lightings and definitely the most joyful place to be at with Christmas songs blaring in the background. The people of Iloilo will take an evening walk with their families to the field in front of the Lizares Mansion and admire the Christmas lightings while soaking up the Christmas moods. It was so stunning even from afar.

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
The stairwell where I believe the winding wooden staircase is…

Angelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
That Christmas light in the middle is made out of sea shells! Don’t remember having anything like that here in Singapore! So beautiful!

Angelicum School | Iloilo, PhilippinesAngelicum School | Iloilo, Philippines
A hut in front of the mansion that replicates the scene of what I believe should be the birth of Christ…

Anyway, if you are wondering how joyous it can feel just standing in front of the mansion… Here’s a short video clip I shot while I was there! Enjoy! 🙂

Most posts from Philippines December 2013 travelogue series:

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