Let's Travel and Discover the Secrets of ILOILO

WELCOME to Iloilo, A Province that dances with the rhythm of the past and the promise of the future. HALA BIRA!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Ornate Guimbal Church

San Nicholas of Tolentino Church in Guimbal is one of the most ornate churches found in Iloilo. Many Baroque churches in the Philippines emphasize massiveness, hugeness and sturdiness but Guimbal Church is different, here, art is given more attention. The edifice is an explosion of ornate designs combining Oriental and European art. Twinned Corinthian pillars, ornamental rosettes of Asiatic styles, Moorish spires and classic finials are the most imposing facets of the facade.
The church has been reconstructed many times after calamities and war tested the strength of its stone walls. It has been enlarged and restored so well that it appeared to have never been tainted by time. The tall belfry was recently reconstructed years after the original one was destroyed. The new belfry which is possibly of West Asian influence is so large that it gave the entire structure a fortress like appearance.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ruins of Janiuay Church: A Hanging Garden

I lived almost half of my childhood life in Janiuay, a town North of Iloilo City. I can still remember playing at the very ruins of this old brick church when I was still in grade school. It is one of the most mysterious places that remained magnificent even if it was ruined by seasons and war.

Janiuay church was said to be a very beautiful edifice that gave pride to its creators. It was one of the largest churches built in the region with an architecture so fine that it deviated from the usual 'Earthquake Baroque' Styles of the other neighboring churches since it used wooden elements and emphasized lightness through large windows instead of heaviness with thick walls of stone. In the second world war, it was burned down but the solid parts of the church still remained. The whole church was then transformed into a garden made by birds and bats who seeded the ruins with trees, flowering weeds and shrubs. Later on, a man made garden was the built to emphasize this incidental wonder, a hanging garden.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

San Joaquin Church: A Gem of History

Observing the facade of San Joaquin Church, a traveler might find it interesting like the other baroque churches found in Iloilo's Southwestern coastal towns. Like Miagao and Tigbauan, the facade of San Joaquin Church is burgeoned with decorative designs that either depict the beauty of Christian Art or abstract stories with faith driven meanings. The Bas Relief carved in the pediment of San Joaquin Church, known as the 'Rendicion Tetuan', is not just a mere ornament but a carved illustration that tells the story about the victory of the Christians against the Moors in Morroco.
The style used in this edifice is so oriental that even the saints settling in their rosette framed niches look very Chinese, so as the warriors and their horses carved in the pediment.
The carved mural on the pediment isn't the sole reason why this shrine is called a 'gem' the fact that it is dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ, makes it a very important structure in the world of Christianity.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dingle Church: Something Different

Dingle Church was built in 1874 using yellowish limestone in Neoclassic Architecture. The details of the facade share some similarities with the facades of Lambunao and Duenas Churches. The sole belfry seems to be a mere example of 'Vulgar Gothic' which is somewhat a pleasant departure from the Neoclassic wholeness brought by the facade.

Dingle, which was then called Baong was once a visita of Pototan and became an independent parish in 1611. Though the church is not as large as compared to the huge churches of Molo and Cabatuan, it boasts a clean and preserved elegance which matches the calmness and tranquility of the town.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tejido Ilongga

Aside from the huge churches, lavish mansions and mouthwatering delicacies, Iloilo also boasts the fact that during the Spanish Colonial Era, the province was called the "Textile center of the Philippines" wherein the coastal towns from Oton to Miagao became the major producers of quality textiles.
During the American regime, the fabric-textile industry began to decline when cheap cotton was used instead pineapple fabrics. However, in the late decades of the 1900's, the textile industry began to rise as pineapple fabric was recognized not only because of its durability but also because of its intricacy and beauty.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Cemetery of San Joaquin

Legends say that there was once a mythical beast, half horse- half man, who goes to the shore to drink. The sight of this legendary creature frightens the people and thus, a shrine was built to ward off this magical spirit. This shrine is the 'Campo Santo' or the cemetery chapel of San Joaquin, an intricate oriental baroque structure that was built in the late 1800's trough hewn fossil stones and baked bricks.
Oriental art can be distinguished by the intricate use of floral motifs and curves, pointed finials that have Hindu influences all enhanced by the alternating colors of white and red.
Before reaching the town, a traveler might notice the crown like chapel looming over the cemetery. Delicate like a freed soul, the 'Campo Santo' is truly a heritage treasure that should be preserved for the next generation.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Laguda Mansion Ruins

General Hughes St. in Downtown, Iloilo City was once the city's Elite Avenue,where the rich and the famous once had their seaside villas. Though many mansions still existed, few did not to survive the tests of time; many were abandoned and some were completely devastated.
The Laguda House, a beautiful neoclassic mansion was a beautiful edifice before the spark of the second world war. However, like Fort San Pedro, it was bombed and later left in ruins. Lost Memories and Forgotten treasures still haunt the very walls of this old mansion. Astonishing and Mysterious, the beauty of the mansion is still extant that even if it is left in ruins, it never fails to struck passersby with awe.