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!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Cathedral of Jaro

One of the earliest cathedrals that was built in the Philippines was The Jaro Cathedral or known as the church Our Lady of Candles. Unlike most of the Hispanic structures in Iloilo that were built either of bricks or of yellowish sandstones, the cathedral was built of cream like fossil stones.
It is mainly designed of baroque architecture emphasized by slopes and curves entwining with many neoclassic features. The stained glass Romanesque windows contribute a unique balance between the Baroque and Classic features of the Church. The small rose window at the upper half of the facade which is typical of Gothic churches also deviates from the church's Baroque dominance.
The cathedral has been a part of Iloilo's rich history. It is perhaps the most important Roman Catholic Shrine in all of the Region and is considered as the heart of Catholicism in the island. Many important events in history happened in the very grounds of the Cathedral. Hundreds of pilgrims gather every year in February to celebrate the anniversary of the miraculous patron Saint whose statue is believed to have outgrown its niche. The Feast of Our Lady of Candles is also one of the largest festivals in the country that is filled with traditions practiced from generations to generations.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Santa Barbara Church and her Walls of Memories

It is known to many that the northern parts of Iloilo keeps a wondrous tapestry of history that will always be manifested by many beautiful sceneries that have been viewed in a similar way by our forefathers many centuries ago.
Santa Barbara, a flourishing town in central Iloilo that leads to the northlands is known for a beautiful church of fine yellowish stone. This church is a beautiful remnant of a rich history, a structure that projects the elegance of culture sprawling within artistry. The convent of the church is adored by many tourist because it has this "ancient-like" feel within its red brick walls. Arches and pillasters dominate the ground level that is highlighted by a spacious courtyard while the porch of the upper level is entranced by Moorish-like details on wood that suggest of Southern Spanish architecture.
Santa Barbara church is the cradle of the Ilonggo revolution against the Hispanic rule. It has witnessed an array stories that could had happened years before anyone of us were born. An exceptional collection of History and Culture makes the ancient walls of this structure as intact as the stones that it was made of...So who needs a history book when you've got history afore you?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cabatuan: A Grand View

The sight of hills and of the colonial remnants of what was once a Hispanic Era town will surely amaze travelers as soon as they arrive in the peaceful town called Cabatuan. Settled peacefully between the great Tigum River and the magnificent array of hills of the northlands, the town started as a small village of Brave Warriors of 'Sinulog' or Death Dance. As the Spanish regime flourished towards the depth of the island, Cabatuan then became a town that was dedicated to the Patron Saint San Nicolas de Tolentino. The discovery of Cabatuan was preceded by planting a molave cross in the highest hill of the town and for almost three hundred years, that very site became a notable pilgrim destination. Cabatuan's most prominent tourist site is the grand neoclassic church that was built of red bricks. Being the largest red brick church there is in all of the Visayas, the church is indeed a sight to behold, a treasure of a glorious past.
A compliment to the massive church is the town square which is by every inch an example of a Spanish Plaza that is cornered by huge park markers resembling chess pawns. Cabatuan holds art and creativity in things we least expect of, it is a peaceful place that showcases wondrous destinations and delightful surprises.

Monday, July 7, 2008


This is an actual story from someone who has experienced how Typhoon Frank made a dramatic entrance to the province of Iloilo and to its neighboring provinces. I know how everything took place. I know how people have to let go of valuable possessions. I know how many places have been damaged. I know, because I was there.

It has been two weeks since that typhoon came to 'visit' Iloilo, many typhoons had come and the people have gone tired of the usual thing that happens all over again.
However, what happened last June 21, 2008 was not 'history repeating itself', it was one of the strongest typhoons that came to the Ilonggo Nation, something that gave all of us a lesson.

"It was seven in the morning and I was ready, all fixed, my white uniform suited me well, and I have an hour and thirty minutes left until duty starts at the hospital. As I took the jeepney away from our house, everything seemed well. Though it was raining, there seemed to be nothing to worry about. As I reached the city, water was swelling up a few streets but it didn't worried me for it'll go after the rain would stop or so. I was in the hospital and I was oblivious about a storm hitting the city, I mean, there's rain, there's wind but no one said anything about a storm.
As I left the hospital early that afternoon, it was quite odd since not a jeep was to be found, I mean, the street was almost completely empty except for some vehicles passing through. It took a while before a jeep passed. As I reached my university, flood was already surrounding the school. It was like the school was built with rivers running around it. I went to the dormitory changed to my civilian clothes, washed my white uniform and took a bath. I was getting hungry and some of my dorm mates asked me to go with them to a mall since we were all starved. I went with them to the mall and all was quite well, we met up with our other dorm mates and there were like thirteen of us hanging around.

At five o'clock in the afternoon, the mall was then surrounded by water. There was a lot of people panicking and crying all around us. The mall became an evacuation center in an instant. We were not aloud to go outside since it is very dangerous, the current was fast and the highways were like rivers and fields were like lakes. We were stranded inside that mall overnight. The salesladies, the shoppers, tourist and more people stayed too and people slept in the food court. By morning the flood has left but it carried many things away too.

Bridges were broken, damaged and nulled. Houses were destroyed and businesses were devastated. In some parts of the province, transportation was even distorted. It was like the storm created a new picture not worth looking at. Many lives were taken away as well and for the first time in my life, I know how to become one of the victims of a great storm."

Ilonggos need you. I have lost many things as well, my camera is broke and I have to save money to buy a new one, My father's business was paralyzed after a vital bridge collapsed in our town. I hope you can help the victims of typhoon Frank. Iloilo Needs You. We need you.