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Archive for the ‘Iloilo’ Category

San Joaquin Church

Posted by admin on January 2, 2007

Originally called Suaraga, Soaragam, Suiraga, the settlement was an encomienda under Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa. Suaraga was a visita of Antique from 1591-92, when it became an independent town. In 1687, a resident priest was assigned to Suaraga. In 1692, Suaraga was made a parish with Miagao as its annex; later, in 1703, Guimbal was annexed to Suaraga; and in 1731 returned to Miagao. Finally in 1793 it became an independent parish and in 1801, Fr. Agustín Rico was assigned resident priest. The present church is attributed to Fr. Tomás Santaren while he was parish priest from 1855-66.

Heritage Features: Built of coral stone quarried from Igbaras, the church is flanked by a three story bell tower to its right and the ruins of a building, probably the convento to its left. The bell tower, however, is now damaged and the upper most story, a construction in reinforced concrete. The two stories of the façade are uneven in height, the second being about one-half the dimension of the first. The first story is decorated with rosettes and divided vertically by engaged columns on tall plinths like Guimbal. Composite capitals crown the columns. A plaque above the arched portal displays the Augustinian seal flanked by cherubs. The second story is plain compared with the lower floor. The façade’s striking feature, however, is the disproportionately large pediment. When Fr. Santarén was still building the church news of the victory of Gen. Leopoldo O’Donnel over the Moroccan Crown Prince Muley Abbas reached Iloilo. The Spaniards recaptured Tetuan. Santarén’s low relief mural captures the excitement of victory where cavalry and infantry are tearing down Moorish defense, near palms and a minaret. The troops are composed in an ascending spiral with figures of horse and rider becomes smaller the higher they reach. Spaces between the figures are filled with vegetation. The title of the composition “Rendición de Tetuan” is carved at the base of this animated relief. (Panublion)

Posted in Churches, Iloilo, National Cultural Treasures | Leave a Comment »

Plaza Libertad

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

In front of the San Jose Church is a wooded plaza, improved during the 20th century with the addition of benches and Classical statuary. The Old World look of the plaza has been greatly degraded, but in its heyday, it was one of Iloilo’s charms.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Iloilo, National Historical Landmarks, Town Plazas | Leave a Comment »

Iloilo Customs Building

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Occupying a block along Muelle Loney is the Aduana or Customs Building built during the American colonial period. It is a copy of the Immigration building in Manila, whose characteristic is a tall tower that rises at the center of the building.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Government Buildings, Iloilo, Ports | Leave a Comment »

San Jose Church (Iloilo City)

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

The first church in Iloilo was built by the Jesuits around 1607 to serve the needs of the military stationed in Punta, as Iloilo was then called. However, on 29 April 1617, the Augustinians established San José, a house of the order. They held San José until 1775 when administration was given to the secular clergy. In 1868, Iloilo along with La Paz (Loboc) was given to the Augustinians in exchange for Jaro which had become the seat of the newly founded diocese. Fr. Mauricio Blanco was named prior in 1873 and he started enlarging and repairing an older church built of light material. Later he decided to build a new church of stone and brick, after the Miguelete church of Valencia del Cid (Spain). However, he was unable to fulfill his plans, and stopped when he had completed two stories. He finished the church, added two towers one with a clock and barometer and built a convent. The towers were begun on 14 November 1893. The church was repaired in 1902 under Fr. Manuel Diez, restored in 1945 under architect and engineer Mariano Cacho following plans by Fr. David Caseres. The altars were gilded by Fr. Jesús Fernandez. During World War II, the church was saved from being bombed by the Americans after they received information that Japanese were not holed in the church as they were previously informed. Between 1980-82 the church was renovated, a new marble floor was laid, under the direction of poet-writer, Fr. Gilbert Centina. San José is one of the few parish in the Philippines still under the Augustinians.

Heritage Features: The church’s appeal lies less in ornamentation and more on the rational modulation of forms and spaces. Typically Renaissance in inspiration, the church façade is neatly divided into proportionate vertical modules, pierced by arch and round apertures. The twin bell towers flanking the façade uses composite capitals and has a balustrade running above the fourth floor. The church interior has an arcade of Corinthian columns supporting a faux barrel vault over the nave and groin vaults over the aisle. The main altar has some Gothic touches. A precious treasure of the church is an image of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario discovered by Diego Quiñones during the Dutch siege of Iloilo on 29 September 1614. The statue was brought by Frs. Jerónimo Alvarado and Juan de Morales to the fort, where a cofradía (confraternity) to the Virgin was established. Damaged by a fire which gutted the church ca. 1850, the image was restored in 1873 and 1907.

Location: Bounded by Sto. Rosario, Zamora and de la Rama Sts.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Churches, Iloilo | 1 Comment »

Molo Church

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Molo was a Chinese enclave at the turn of the century. Its Neogothic church is one of the few in Iloilo not built by the Augustinians. The church is attributed to a Chinese mestizo secular, Fr. Locsin. The original church of Molo was built of tabique with a tile roof. Fr. Jose Ma. Sichon replaced it with a temporary church in 1863, probably because the earlier church was damaged. In 1866 plans were presented for approval. Bp. Mariano Cuartero approved construction in 1869.

Heritage Features: The church is an amalgam of Gothic and Renaissance. The plan is fundamentally Renaissance, evident in the arcade of Corinthian columns in the interior, the use of semi-circular arches, and the disposition of space. The church’s height, however, and its narrow width points to affinity with the Gothic. This is further emphasized by the decorative elements, spires, lancets, tracery. The wooden varnished altar, said to have been built around 1930, carry the Gothic theme. On 16 columns supporting the roof are images of female saints, hence the church’s sobriquet as church of women.

In front of the church is plaza with a band stand, a typical plan of Western Visayas towns.

Location: Bounded by Jocson and San Marcos Sts.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Churches, Iloilo, National Historical Landmarks | Leave a Comment »

Miag-ao Church

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

In 1993, Miagao church was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List under the title “Baroque churches of the Philippines.” The town was a visita of Oton until 1580, then annexed to Tigbauan until 1592, to San Joaquin until 1703, Guimbal until 1731 when it was raised to an independent parish. However, it was only 1734 that Miagao had a resident priest, Fr. Fernando Camporredondo. The original town site was by the sea in a place called Ubos (Hiligaynon for lower place). A church and other structures were built around 1734 but in 1741 the church was burnt during a slave raid. Fr. Camporredendo who ministered in Miagao from 1734-37, 44-50 built a second church during his second term. This lasted a handful of years because in 1754, the town was looted and burnt during another raid. Because of its vulnerability to raids, the Augustinians transferred the town up a hill called Tacas. There Fr. Francisco Mayo began building the present church in the year 1786. The structure was completed in 1797. Stones were quarried from San Joaquin and Igbaras. Fr. Francisco Perez added a story to the left tower in 1839. In 1864, Fr. Agustín Escudero restored the church. In 1880 Fr. José Sacristán decorated the interior. Early in the 20th century, the church was burnt during the Philippine American war and used as headquarters and barracks during World War II. The interior of the church was greatly damaged. In 1948, 1959, and in the 1970 the church was restored. Restoration is an ongoing concern as the soft yellow sandstone used in the church erodes easily.

Heritage Features: The flanking towers, massive, and of unequal height gives Miagao the shape of a fortress. However, the finely carved tassels, dangling like fringes from the second and third stories soften the military appearance of the construction. It is the ornamentation of the church that gives it distinction, this is especially true of the façade which designed like a retablo. Above the portal is a niche containing the patronal saint, Santo Tomás. From the niche runs horizontally a band of dentils and rosettes supporting a blind balustrade. The niche is linked to the first story by engaged columns supporting a plinth. These columns which flank the main arch portal are linked to two other columns by downward curved lines. Between the pair of columns are niches with saints. Rococo embellishments ornament the portal and the sides of the outer columns. The pediment is an altogether independent composition. The giant San Cristobal, who ferried people across the river is shown with the Christ child resting on his shoulder. The giant, dressed in breeches, supports himself with a coconut tree, rather than a staff as is traditional. Tropical plants like the papaya and others in vases are arranged in a symmetrical composition around the central figure. The pediment is pierced by oval windows seemingly out of place in the busy composition. All told the façade is a mixture of decorative styles–Classical, Baroque, Rococo–all linked by tropical fantasy in a design uniquely Philippine. For this synthesis and reinterpretation of foreign influences, Miagao church is called a World Heritage Site.

Miagao has a 19th century cemetery worth visiting. A watchtower is found along the shore.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Churches, Iloilo, National Historical Landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites | 5 Comments »

Iloilo City Central Market

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Along Valera, Iznart and Jose Rizal Sts is the Iloilo Central Market. The public market building built during the early 20th century uses Deco motifs. This is evident in the step lintel and post opening of the covered walkway and the central tower, above the market’s main entrance. The tower served as the administrative office of the market.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site

Posted in Commercial Buildings, Iloilo, Markets | 1 Comment »