Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Iloilo Church Hopping

Iloilo and old churches certainly mix. And they do have some really magnificent ones, usually flanked by a big plaza, near a cemetery and the city hall... and surrounded by the homes of the aristocracy of old.

We started our church hopping in the town of San Joaquin, about two hours from Iloilo City, after our visit to Garin Farm. If you go here directly from the city, that will set you back P60 on a jeepney ride.

climb up to the belfry and see the bats

interior was quite plain and modern though

You have to walk for around 2 blocks from San Joaquin church to the road where jeepneys and buses pass. Ride a jeep (P15) going to Miagao and travel for some 15 minutes.

this church is imposing and massive in its majesty

the facade has all these carvings that will really make you pause and wonder how they were put there

choir practice for little ones

absolutely loved the intricate windows

Just ride another jeepney bound for Iloilo (P15) and travel for some 15 minutes again to get to Guimbal Church.

I found the church so-so

and it didn't look centuries old

but Guimbal plaza was nice (here's Rizal and the city hall)

and their playground and staidum looked new and well-kept

great plaza, no?

since we were there already, we decided to check out the Guimbal Moro watchtower

it was actually only about two stories high and made from big slabs of stone, and resorts already cover your view of the beach

this is the beach that you cannot see from the tower anymore

you go up and down the Moro tower this way

Ride another jeep bound for Iloilo to get to Tigbauan Church (P10) and enjoy the amount of work that went into its interior.

kinda looks ordinary from the outside

but when you get in, you will realize that every inch of the church was made from pieces of stone or tile

as in every inch!

all tiles

twas hard to pray here because I kept just looking at the images made from tiles

really loved everything about the inside of this church

plaza was not bad too

Going to Molo Church from Tigabauan will require most commuters to travel to the jeepney terminal at Mohon (P18) and then transfer to another one bound for Villa (Arevalo, P7.50). You can't miss this church anyway because it is also huge and the jeeps go around it.

This church, conceptualized in 1863 and built as a stone church in 1869 with a Gothic Renaissance design, is also known as a feminist church because of the statues of female saints inside.

female saints lead the way to the altar

sixteen images of female saints in all

There are other old churches in Iloilo (like the Jaro church) but we didn't have enough time to visit them anymore. Anyway, these old churches are really a testament to the province's faith and culture, history and economy and they're really a must-see, even if you're not Catholic.

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