Early morning tomorrow, I’ll be off on another adventure, this time up north, but I am putting up this quick update before I actually get started on packing. (Hah.) Packing three attractions in this one post, the Miag-ao Church, the Molo Mansion, and the Jaro Cathedral, all in Iloilo.
The Miag-ao Church, or Miagao Church to most, is formally known as the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, and located in the municipality of Miagao, Iloilo City. It’s about an hour and a half drive away from downtown Iloilo City.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site gained fame because of its baroque architectural style, more so because it was able to withstand most the earthquakes and typhoons that came before. Of course, there were some damage, but restoration works ensured it stood to this day.
Construction of the Miagao Church began in 1787, and was completed in 1797. It is notable for having been used as a fortress against the Muslim raiders back in 1898.
I actually liked the exterior more than the interior, probably because I liked how vast the space looked. It was solemn inside, but there was something calming standing on the grass, with the sun bearing down on you.
This was one of our stops from the Garin Farm, as we headed back to Iloilo City. Many visitors devote a road trip or tour to visiting the many old churches in the region, and this is definitely one of the most notable ones.
Now we come to Molo Mansion, which was another stop in our Garin Farm morning.
The Molo Mansion is actually the Yusay-Consing Mansion, and it got the name Molo Mansion because it is located in Molo, Iloilo City. Obviously.
Apparently, this mansion was neglected to the point that it was due for demolition. But this old edifice is pretty much a historic building in Iloilo City, so it was a good thing that SM’s developers restored it and made it pretty again.
Graceful arches and iron grills were the main points of the facade of the mansion. But that is not where the restoration ended, because if you enter, you will also note that the hardwood flooring and the high ceilings were also visibly restored recently.
Here’s the thing, though: only the first floor of the mansion is open to the public… and it’s basically a shop selling KULTURA items. Part of me was disappointed, because I thought it would be like a true-blue mansion. Oh well.
At the back of the Mansion is an open-air cafe/drinks area, called “Table Matters”.
Why am I talking about this? Because I tried their ice cream and frappe with the Blue Ternate Flower, and I loved it. It’s actually the first time I heard about this flower, and to find out that it’s actually edible, well, I just had to try. Even if I’m not really into frappes (or generally putting cream on my drinks).
The visit to this Cathedral was made on our last morning in Iloilo City, when we went out to have breakfast at the La Paz Public Market, and decided to head over to the Cathedral.
The whole official name of this cathedral is Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and the Nuestra Seniora de la Candelaria (National Shrine of our Lady of the Candles). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jaro.
It was originally built in 1874 in honor of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, and it boasts the Romanesque architectural style.
In the past, there was another church close by with a high tower or belfry. But that church was destroyed, leaving only the belfry. Today, that belfry can be seen right across the street from the Cathedral.
When we were visiting, there was a wedding going on, so we didn’t hang around long. But the glimpse I got was definitely awe-inspiring. Just look at that high ceiling! And that path to the altar~
The facade of the Cathedral has concrete stairs on both sides, which will lead you up to the Shrine itself. We decided to go up to check it out. By the way, this shrine was only declared such back in January 2012, so the shrine itself is relatively new. Well, if 7-something years can be considered “new”.
And this is the view of the adjacent belfry from the Shrine area.
I suppose if we had more time to explore the City and its adjoining towns, we’d have checked out all the old churches and cathedrals. But what few we’ve seen, I definitely appreciated, mainly for its history and significance than the architecture because… well, I don’t really know much about architecture and art. Tee-hee.