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Walk at Calle Real
It is currently known as J.M. Basa St. it is where you can find iloilo's heritage and is considered to be the City's living museum.
We walked from the obelisk and we saw Old world architecture flourished in the area but most of which are now used for business and some are in bad shape. Old houses can also be seen as you go towards San Jose church. Some ancestral houses can also be found in the area.
Example of old buildings I've seen along JM Basa
S. Villanueva building - The Buildings of S. Villanueva are both in American colonial architecture. This is proven by the dominant vertical movement of both edifices. Just a few meters walk from the obelisk.
The Reagent Building is one of the oldest cinema theatres in the country. The design is a combination of baroque and neo-classic elements characterized by corinthian columns and archways.
Celso Ledesma - needs restoration and can be seen easily for it is located near the obelisk
If you want to see some old artifacts about history, culture and paleontological and archaeological finds in Iloilo, then this is the place for you. What inside are fossils, parts sunken vessels, stone age tools, burial jars, pottery etc. Some rare photograph from WWII are also displayed with also some works of local artists.Related to:
- Museum Visits
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Visita Iglesia: Jaro Cathedral/ Bellfry
It is our next destination after Pavia Church and it is Ideal to so so because of the proximity. It is the 1st district of Iloilo City coming from the airport or any of the northern towns.
This church is also known as church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and the shrine of Nuestra Senora de Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles). The church was built in 1864 and undergone series of renovation.
The church is baroque but Gothic elements was added on every restoration. There's a stair in both side of the facade leading to the 400-year old image sheltered in a glass encased shrine just above the main door. The image is believed to be miraculous and growing by devotees. it is the only religious icon in the country that was canonically crowned by Pope John Paul II during his visit in 1982. He declared it the patroness of Western Visayas.
At the Veranda you will have a nice view of the Jaro Bellfry and the plaza but the church's courtyard is under renovation during our visit.
The church's interior is simple with some frescos on the ceiling right just after you enter.Male saints line the semi circle arches leading to the domed altar.
The historical marker of the church states that our Hero Graceano Lopez-Jaena was Baptized here.
The Jaro Bellfry is physically separated from the church across the road and became part of the Jaro plaza. Its architecture and design is different from the rest of the church. The foundations is made of stone but brick is dominant on its walls and embellished with simple pilasters.
They suggest to visit Jaro during their Grand Traditional Fiesta every February.
From here you can visit and take photos of Ancestral houses at the vicinity like Sanson-Montinola mansion, Montinola Ancestral House, Locsin Ancestral House, Don Joaquin Ledesma Ancestral house, Lopez Vito Ancestral house and Nelly garden or visit Tienda Antigua for antique lovers, Arch's bishop Palace and the old Jaro Municipal Hall.
Going to Jaro is very easy, just ride a jeepney with "Jaro Liko" or "Jaro" signboard for only P10.00 or simply take a cab which costs around P75.00 coming from the Iloilo city proper.
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Visita Iglesia: San Jose Church
The first Jesuit built church in iloilo and said to be the first church built in the province. it was established in 1607 but then taken over by the order of St. Augustine. It is where the Dinagyang festival originated.
The church is made of red bricks with 2 identical towers flank the facade. The church interior has a series of corinthian columns and an altar with gothic touches. A precious image of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario is housed inside that dates back to to 1614.
We went here on foot from One Lourdes Dormitel. We explored the Calle Real and after seeing old buildings and stone houses this magnificent church was our desert.
A typical plaza with green trees and garden with a monument of Dr. Jose Rizal in the middle. The plaza is historical, It is Where the flag of the First Philippine Republic was raised in triumph after Spain surrendered Iloilo to the revolutionaries led by Gen. Martin Delgado on December 25, 1898.
How to go here, cab and jeepney along JM Basa. But we only walked to see old buildings and houses and this is our last destination together with San Jose Church on our first day.
Iloilo is also home of ancestral houses and Eagle's mansion is one of them .It is also known as Celso Ledesma Mansion. We saw this mansion when we are heading to Guimaras via Ortiz port, and one will definitely see this mansion.
It gained its nick name from the eagle statues adorning the gate pillars. It was built around 1920′s and owned by Don Celso Ledesma. But sadly the mansion is currently not open to the public.
Our lady of candles
Ok, as I understand it, the legend goes something like this: a sailor found this statue and donated it to the church, which displayed it high on the face of the church. Soon, rumors began that the staue was growing! In fact, it grew so much that they had to move it to another spot and now it is encased in a glass case. They say it continuies to grow to this day. You can take the stairs up to the staue and people still light the candles and pray in front of the lady in hopes of a miricale.
Pope John Paul II crowned the statue and verfied it as a miracle back in 1982
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Right in the middle of downtown you will find the beautiful Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral. The Spanish ruled this country for hundreds of years and the archictecture still remains popular. This church is also home to Our Lady of Candles. a statue that local legend claims is growing. In fact, in 1982, Pope John Paul II visited here and designated this a place of miracles.
To be honest, I don't believe in that type of stuff, but this church is impressive. Right across the street is a belfry tower that is also quite a sight.
Spas are a big thing here. They are perfect for foreigners because not only will you need some pampering after a long flight, but the prices are extrodinary. At one spa we got a foot scrub, pedicure and a hot stone massage (it felt so good!) for about $10 US
Another spa we went to, Skinetics, gave us a foot scrub, facial and full body massage for about $25 US that would go for 100-300 here in the States! They are very professional too, but they were a bit taken aback when I saw they assigned me a male masuesse and I quickly requested a female.
Food trip in the city
Ilonggos love to eat. Thus, there are a lot of homegrown food establishments.
If you want a seafood trip, you can try out Tatoy's, Breakthrough, and Buto't Balat. Tatoy's offer grilled seafoods but their bestsellers are roasted chickens. Breakthrough has been making waves in serving seafood dishes. If you want to have a truly laid-back and seaside meal, you can visit Tatoy's main branch and Breakthrough's branch along Villa beach.
Chinese restos that are recommended in the city are Mansion House (i think they now have a branch near Amigo Plaza), Lee Garden, and Dainty.
There's also Roberto's -- their Camaron Rebosado and Meatballs should be tasted.
Kong Kee's -- famous for its siopao. Dinagyang siopao kiosks in Gaisano City and SM City should also be checked out.
Go church hopping
Old churches, including the UNESCO recognized and world heritage Miag-ao church, are abound in Iloilo. One can just take a jeep to visit these churches (dating back to the Spanish era):
1. Jaro Cathedral -- famous for its miraculous Lady of the Candles statue. Over the years, the statue reportedly grew taller. The feast of Candelaria (celebrated every February 2) is Iloilo City's biggest and grandest fiesta.
2. Molo Church -- This church is unique because saints along the aisle are all women; thus the church is sometimes referred to as the women's church.
3. Tigbauan Church -- This is one of my favorite churches in Iloilo. Its interiors are visually satisfying, with the mosaic station of the cross, the mosaic altar. Truly a must-see.
4. Miag-ao Church -- This one is considered as one of the oldest churches in the country. This over 200-year-old church is famous for its bas-relief facade.
5. San Joaquin Church -- Its facade is also a must-see.
Other churches you might want to visit, Guimbal church and San Jose church in Plaza Libertad.
You can also do a tour of churches in central Iloilo, covering the following churches:
1. Cabatuan church
2. Sta. Barbara church and convent
3. Janiuay churchRelated to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
swimming @ miag-ao or guimbal
i would recommend checking out Shamrock Beach Resort in Guimbal. We used to frequent this resort. They have cabanas for overnight stays and cottages that could accommodate groups. As far as I can remember, they have good and clean facilities. Miag-ao is not that far too. UPV campus is located there. The beaches, however, in Miag-ao are quite rocky.Related to:
Visit Molo Church
Molo Church is one of the historical churches in Iloilo City. If you go sightseeing inside the church, you would see that most of the saints displayed are actually women. According to some folks that i asked, it is said to be the most feminist church in the philippines.
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Jaro District: Jaro Cathedral
Jaro, a suburb of Ilolilo City, is a major archdiocese in the predominantly Roman Catholic Phillipines, encompassing the whole of the Western Visayas region.
TRIVIA: Jaro's former archbishop, now-deceased Jaime Cardinal Sin, went on to become the Archbishop of Manila, which is regarded as the head of the Roman Catholic clergy in the Philippines. Historically, he played a major role in ousting Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, when he called the Catholic faithful to congregate in EDSA (a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila) to support the rebellion of then Gen. Fidel Ramos, who later on became president, and then Minister of Defence, Juan Ponce-Enrile.
As such, the Jaro Cathedral, which is the seat of the Jaro Archdiocese, is a major religious landmark in the country, and a must-see for visitors in Iloilo.
Architecturally, it pales in comparison with Molo Church, but is nevertheless, a grand cathedral made of local limestone. The exterior walls used to be covered with painted, modern concrete, which was later removed to expose their original limestone (good move!) facade and lend the church a more old-age aura.
A distinguishing feature of this cathedral from others is its belfry, which was built separately apart from the cathedral (the belfry is featured in a separate article below).Related to:
- Historical Travel
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Interesting Old Catholic Churches
Iloilo City has many historical churches, courtesy of its six districts which used to be independent towns in the past prior to its cityhood in 1937. I was able to visit two of them, the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and Molo Church.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
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