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!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Iloilo: 'A Visita Iglesia'


Visita Iglesia is a known Roman Catholic tradition where Christians would visit seven churches to pray as part of their pilgrimage for the lent season or 'Semana Santa'. This custom was passed to the Filipinos by the Spaniards who brought Christianity in the Philippine Islands and has been practiced for many centuries as part of the religion's faithful devotion to God. 

When in the city, one may adore the beautiful spires of Molo Church which is also known as the church of women because of the domination of female saints inside the church. The Cathedral of Jaro and the Church of San Jose are also interesting points to spend solemn moments with the Divine Being. Off the city, a traveler may find the Magnificent Sta. Barbara Church and Convent, known for it's moorish architecture possibly inspired by churches of Southern Spain. The road north leads to the massive Cabatuan Church that is the largest red brick structures in the entire country and also considered as one of the greatest architectural acheivements of its era. One may also take the road west where three beautiful baroque churches await travelers; there's the beautifully decorated Guimbal Church with its flowery designs, the famous Miagao Church, a world heritage site and known fort its unique Aztec-like design and finally, the San Joaquin Church, which is also known as the gem of the island for it's unique bas-relief facade depicting the victory of the Christians in Morocco.

There are actually more than twenty beautiful churches to visit in Iloilo. Wherever you are in the province, there is one historical temple nearby. However, it is not important if you visit many churches, what matters most is that you know and you feel that God is in your heart that is the very temple of faith within you.  Happy Lent Season everyone.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dingle Church: Another Historical Treasure

If there is any historical tourist site in the province of Iloilo that would stand out with simplicity and with a soft country feel then it would be the humble stone church of Saint John the Baptist in the peaceful town of Dingle. Built in the late 1800's the church is considered as one of the most remarkable structures there is in Iloilo. The presence of a single belfry adds a sense of uniqueness to the whole structure and though the facade suggests simplicity, the interior however speaks of Neoclassic extravagance.

Built in Earthquake Baroque architecture, the gold-like walls of the church stand out as well as it's distinct style. The church will remind us of pilgrim chapels in the Europe and Latin America where not much architectural details are used and there is not much emphasis on size which further appeals to a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Though the church was not built to outshine other neighboring temples, its simplicity always carries a certain charm that makes it a beautiful site to behold.