Skip to main content

Miag-ao Church


It's a 35-minute drive from Iloilo City proper to Miag-ao along well paved roads. We left the city around five in the afternoon and arrived in Miag-ao just after sunset. I've had to filter these photos as it was too dark to get any clear images.

Miag-ao Catholic Church or the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was completed in 1797 and ravaged during the 1898 Philippine revolution against Spain, during World War II and again during the 1948 earthquake. The walls, the belfries and the facade are all that is left of the original structure.  Miag-ao Church is a fine example of colonial Baroque.


The facade of the Church is of yellow ocher limestone which was quarried from nearby mountains. It is decorated in high relief with a palm tree on the top and center of the triangular frame. St. Christopher with the child Jesus on his shoulder is under the palm tree and they are surrounded by indigenous flora. In the niche below St. Christopher is the town's patron saint, St. Thomas. The Church is flanked by two belfries of varying heights and which were built in 1854. An earthquake in 1880 destroyed the original north tower.


The massive walls of the Church measure 1 1/2 meters thick, rises 11 meters high and are of sandstone material. It is supported by buttresses that taper at the top. These walls were built as fortifications against further advances by Muslim pirates who attacked the town in 1741 and 1754.

The Church was closed for the evening so we missed seeing the retablo. It will be the subject of a future post.

Retracing our ride back to Iloilo City, we stopped at Tatoy's Manokan and Seafoods Restaurant in the Villa district to try their famous chicken. I didn't find the native lechon manok (chicken) to be anything special but it was good to check out what the hype was all about.  All the other entreés we ordered were fine. There's a new Tatoy's branch in Santa Barbara just outside the international airport.  

We stayed at the Smallville21 Hotel in Mandurriao. This is an area of restaurants, cafés, karaoke bars and discos. It was Saturday night, party night. We could hear the loud music from the bars below to the wee hours of morning. We begged for a room away from the main street but all the quiet rooms sold out early in the day. If you love the nightlife, then this area is for you. 

***

Images by Charie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Carlos Botong Francisco - Progress of Medicine in the Philippines

Pre-colonial period Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas (The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines) is a group of four large-scale paintings depicting healing practices in the Philippines from pre-colonial times to the modern period. Carlos Botong Francisco was commissioned in 1953 by  Dr. Agerico Sison who was then the director of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) together with   Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr. and Dr. Constantino Manahan. These oil on canvas paintings measure 2.92 meters in height and 2.76 meters in width (9.71 ft x 8.92 ft) and were displayed at the main entrance hall of PGH for over five decades. Owing to its location, the artworks were in a state of "severe deterioration" at the beginning of the 21st century from exposure to heat, humidity, dirt, dust, smoke, insect stains, grime, termites and an oxidized synthetic resin used in an earlier restoration. These canvases were restored three times, the last was

8 Heritage Houses of Iloilo

Lizares Mansion The province of Iloilo on the island of Panay has a rich trove of heritage houses, left over from the sugar industry boom in the 19th century. Iloilo also had the largest port in the Philippines at that time which facilitated the export of sugar to foreign shores and deposited money in the hands of the sugar barons. The barons dropped their earnings into the acquisition of properties in Negros and the construction of beautiful homes in Iloilo, many of which are located in the vicinity of the Jaro Cathedral. The Lizares Mansion was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares for his wife, Concepcion Gamboa and five children. The family fled to safety when World War II broke out and the house was occupied by the Japanese military. The family returned to the house after the war but left once again after the demise of Don Emiliano. It was sold to the Dominican order in the 1960s and was converted in 1978 to a private school, Angelicum School. The mansion now houses the

Filipino Struggles in History - Carlos Botong Francisco

In 1968, Antonio Villegas (then Mayor of Manila), commissioned Carlos "Botong" Francisco to paint the history of Manila for Manila City Hall. The series of large scale paintings was called  Kasaysayan ng Maynila  (History of Manila).  The paintings deteriorated over time and no attempt was made to preserve these historical canvases until 2013 when Mayor Amado Lim sent them to the National Museum for extensive restoration. Four years later, in 2017, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the Manila City Council signed an agreement with the National Museum to leave the paintings at the museum so they may reach a larger audience in exchange for museum grade reproductions to replace the originals. Kasaysayan ng Maynila was later renamed Filipino Struggles in History and is now on display at the Senate Hall of the National Museum . Carlos "Botong" Francisco died in March 1969, a few months after completing the paintings. He is one of the first Filipino modernists and