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!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Janiuay Cemetery and the Arches of Heavenly Splendor

One of Iloilo’s most picturesque places was once included in the famed pages of National Geographic, this is the beautiful cemetery of Janiuay, the most artistic Spanish Colonial cemetery in the entire Philippines. Janiuay Cemetery is a beautiful example of Neogothic architecture. Tourist will be intrigued and awed by the architecture of this historical destination since the entire structure is perched on a hill and is approached by a grand flight of stairs that is not a very common arrangement for a cemetery. The main arch-gate has a pointed arc decorated by a cluster of ionic poles and simple rosettes. Two other arches flank the main arch-gate, however, the arcs of these gates are Tudor in style and are more ornate compared to the central gate. On the heart of the cemetery lies a Neo-gothic chapel. The windows of this chapel are amongst the most artistic renditions of Gothic Geometric style found in all of Iloilo.
The cemetery of Janiuay is amongst the country's greatest architectural achievements. It is a unique tourist destination because it showcases the artistry of Iloilo's golden era of colonial art.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Iloilo's Summer Destinations: Beaches of Guimaras

When you're talking about summer, thoughts that would flash on your mind would possibly be the sun and sand and the waves and when you talk about beaches, there's no other place to go but Western Visayas where the beaches are playfully colored with hues of creamy yellow, pale pink, white and brown. The region's or perhaps the country's most popular summer destination would be Boracay that is in  Aklan, a province North of Iloilo. The Island of Boracay that is known for it's pure white beaches, is where all good things happen: fun rides, all night parties, exotic souvenirs and some good and safe places to stay overnight.

However, if your budget doesn't suggest that you can go to Boracay this summer, then you should know that there are some good options near Iloilo City that you'll surely enjoy as well that doesn't require you of spending too much. Guimaras is a nearby Island which is just a boat ride away from the downtown city port and is known not only for it's delicious mangoes but for its beaches which are said to be almost as white as the beaches of Boracay. Two popular white sand destination would be Alubihod in New Valencia, which is an hour away from the Jordan Port and Guisi Beach which is a good place for a peaceful vacation.

Alubihod is lined with Beach Resorts and a small Hotel where you can check in for a night for 800 to 1000 pesos. Also in Nueva Valencia is the Guisi Beach, a very relaxing and serene place that is perfect for those who wants to escape the hassles of urbanity. The sole manager of the Guisi is  Clear water Beach Resort where you could have a cottage to stay overnight for 400 pesos, 1200 pesos or a better spacious airconditioned one for 1600 pesos. Clearwater Beach Resort is also visited by tourist because of the ruins of the Old Spanish Light House on the top of a nearby hill-cliff.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Courtyard of Alimodian Church

Before it was ruined by an earthquake, the Alimodian Church once showcased the tallest Bell tower in all of Western Visayas. The structure was built of brownish limestone and was a magnificent example of a Neoclassic structure with elaborate classical details. The church then had a very large Convent that was also said to be the longest in the entire province of Iloilo.
In 1948, the church was devastated by an earthquake that also ruined many churches in the region. The fine bell tower collapsed and so as many of the significant parts of the temple. What was left of the church was then restored and the ruins of the grand convent was then transformed into a small courtyard that is known in Iloilo for it's aviary and a collection of floras sprawling from one corner to another. 
The church's old bell that was made centuries ago is being displayed at one corner of the courtyard while some paintings about the history of the church and of the town are being showcased at the lower part of the convent ruins.
Though not very impressive as many of the other Historical tourist destinations in Iloilo, the Alimodian Church carries an old world ambiance that breathes a peaceful charm and a relaxing atmosphere to every visitor, a very feature that reasons why the structure is one wonderful tourist site.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tigbauan Church and her Intricate Facade

Considered as one of the earliest Churches built in the Philippines, The Church of San Juan de Sahagun in the coastal town of Tigbauan was constructed in the 16th century, in a time when some towns in Iloilo were not yet even established. Like the churches of Miag-ao and San Joaquin, the facade of Tigbauan Church is overwhelmed by artistic carvings. The facade however  is inspired by Churrisgueresque Architecture, a type of Baroque architecture that originated in Spain and flourished in Mexico and Texas, thus making the church the only one of it's kind in the country.
The sprawling 'bas-relief' decorating the facade portal appears to be like a 'retablo' and is overwhelmed by floral designs, a very intricate version of the Agustinian symbol of the transfixed heart and a cherub that appears to be more like a crown of the church door.
What makes Tigbauan Church unique is that the walls of the interior is built with beautiful mosaics depicting important events in Christ's life. This feature, makes the church a one of a kind tourist destination and an art gallery that is surprisingly awe-spiring.