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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Places Of Interest In Iloilo and Guimaras

                         Other Places Of Interest In Iloilo and Guimaras

Guisi Beach, Guimaras

Iloilo Fort San Pedro

Iloilo Golf and Country Club, Santa Barbara, Iloilo

Sacred and Historical Places

Plaza Libertad - located right at the center of Iloilo City
 - originally called Plaza Alfonso XII
 - where the flag of the First Philippine Republic was raised in triumph after Spain surrendered Iloilo, her last capital in the islands, to the revolutionaries led by General Martin Delgado on December 25, 1898.

La Villa De Arevalo - a district of Iloilo City which is six (6) kilometers southwest of city proper; seat of the Alcaldia of Panay 
 - first Spanish settlement in Panay to be attacked in 1588 by the English privateer Sir Thomas Cavendish, third circumnavigator of the world

Jaro - another district of Iloilo City which is three (3) kilometers from the city proper

- old colonial houses of sugar barons and Hispano-Filipino houses of the elite still stand, antique shops

- the birthplace of the greatest Filipino propagandist and orator, Graciano Lopez-Jaena and Ilongga poetess, Magdalena Jalandoni

- seat of Catholicism in Western Visayas

Jaro Belfry - ruined by the earthquake named Lady Kaykay in 1948

- one of the few belltowers in the Philippines which stands apart from the church

Guimbal Watchtowers - twenty nine (29) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City;

- five (5) stone watchtowers called Bantayan by the natives during the Spanish era to warn the townspeople of marauding pirates

Miag-ao Church - Forty (40) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City
 - a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1786
 - its native facade is a unique explosion of botanical motiff reminiscent of Aztec art
- the church was declared a national landmark in 1973 by Presidential Decree 260.

Santa Barbara Church - sixteen (16) kilometers north of Iloilo City; a neo classical church where General Martin Delgado of the Visayan revolutionary government convened the junta that raised the first cry of revolution against Spain in Iloilo.

Santa Barbara Golf and Country Club - 18-hole, 37 hectages of golf course

- the oldest golf and country club in the Philippines and the entire Southeast Asia

- built in 1907 and opened to the public in 1913

San Joaquin Church - Fifty-three (53) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City

- the only church in the Philippines sporting bas relief of historic battle between Christians of Spain and Moors of Morocco in Tetuan in 1859.

Tigbauan Church - Twenty-two (22) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City with Baroque facade

- behind the rectory was the first Jesuit school for boys in the Philippines established in 1592.

Panay Liberation Marker - located in Tigbauan, Iloilo

- commemorates the American liberation of Panay from the Japanese in 1945

Buenavista Wharf - Twenty (20) minutes by pumpboat from Iloilo City; built by the young Lieutenant Douglas MacArthur in 1903 while on duty with the United States Corps of Engineers

Heritage Buildings at the Calle Real - Downtown Iloilo City or J.M. Basa St. (Jose Maria Basa St.) formerly called Calle Real boasts of buildings that dates back during the Spanish and American colonial period.

Hoskyn's Department Store or Hoskyn's Compound - located in downtown Iloilo City or Calle Real is the first and oldest existing department store in the Philippines established in 1877 by the British, Henry Hoskyns of Hoskyns and Company. Henry Hoskyns is the nephew of Nicholas Loney, the first British vice-consul in Iloilo. Hoskyn's Department Store predates the first department store in the United States which

Muelle Loney - Port of Iloilo named after the first British vice-consul of Iloilo, Nicholas Loney, Father of the Sugar Industry of Panay and Negros. Considered one of the safest harbors because of Guimaras Island that protect it from drastic winds. It was first opened to world trade in 1855. The iconic Iloilo Customs House is situated here.

Molo - one of the districts of Iloilo called Parian during the colonial period. It was the Chinese quarters of La Villa de Arevalo. It is also called the Athens of the Philippines not just because of the plaza that resembles the old temples, domes and architecture of Athens with Greek goddesses but more so of well preserved old buildings and architecture in the area. The place also produced many intellectual and political leaders.

Spanish Bailiwick, Brgy. Carmelo - Three hundred (300) meters from Banate town proper; a historical landmark known as the hiding place of the Spanish authorities from the Moros.

Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain) in Guimaras Province - 30 minute walk from Jordan Wharf, Guimaras; it sits atop Bundulan Point; with a giant cross and chapel; pilgrimage site of the Catholics especially during the Holy Week, offers a commanding view of Iloilo City across Iloilo Strait.

Japanese Fortification, Cabatuan - Concrete structure during the Japanese occupation. Built on a hill twenty (20) feet high with a diameter of nine (9) feet. Used as a lookout by the Japanese soldiers guarding the road and the path to the airfield in Tiring, Cabatuan.

Agony Hill - a long winding hill in the town of Alimodian, approximately twenty-four (24) kilometers from the city proper. The very popular Agony Hill among pilgrims during the Holy Week, was established in 1970s to relive and reflect the last few hours of the sufferings and passion of Christ before his crucifixion and death through Way of the Cross. All Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross consists of life-size statues and small altars depicting the important scenes in the Stations of the Cross. The famous Agony Hill serves as a Mount Calvary on Golgotha for pilgrims and devotees in their act of penance and reflection. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock on this hill every year mostly during the Holy Week.

Guimbal Church - Yellow sandstone church built by Father Campos; Spanish-Filipino vintage towers and stone walled cemetery built by Father Agustin Llorente.

Janiuay Church - Ruins of the beautiful church at the town's plaza where it had been built. Bells of JD Reyna foundry in Iloilo in 1871 and 1898 are still in use.

Janiuay Cemetery - famous Hispano-Filipino cemetery built in 1875 of cut stone and fossil rock sprawling on a hilltop with three (3) imposing stairways and two (2) Gothic doors;  thirty-two (32) kilometers from Iloilo City

Concrete Pillboxes, Janiuay - built by the Japanese forces during the war rise on both ends of Janiuay bridge on the way to Lambunao. One is about twenty-five (25) feet tall with a diameter of nine (9) feet. Both pillboxes are still intact.

Siwaragan River, San Joaquin - According to a popular legend, the ten (10) Bornean datus landed here in the middle of the thirteenth (13th) century and bought the island of Panay with a beaten gold hat called Salakot and a very long necklace that touches the ground called Manangyad from the Negrito chieftain, Marikudo long before the Indians sold Manhattan to European settlers. With the barter of Panay, the Negritos decided to live in the mountains while the Malays occupied the lowlands.

Cabatuan Church - Neo-classical built in the early 1880s; everyside is a facade in itself; walls are overlaid with brick.

Fort San Pedro -  built by the Spaniards in the early 1600s; attacked by Dutch, British, American and Japanese forces; birthplace of the first Filipino commercial air transportation, the Iloilo-Negros Air Express CO., founded by the Lopez brothers on February 3, 1933.

- this is also the original place of the first Iloilo airstrip built in 1938 and considered one of the first airports in the Philippines

Molo Church - three (3) kilometers from the city proper; Gothic Renaissance church of coral rock; completed in the 1800s, it was a unique female church because of the two rows of female saints line both sides of the church. The church was visited by the national hero, Jose Rizal in 1886 on his visit to Iloilo.

Jaro Cathedral - seat of Jaro Archbishopric embracing Western Visayas; it is also home of the  miraculous Nuestra Señora De La Candelaria (Our Lady Of Candles), patroness of Western Visayas region.

Nuestra Señora De La Candelaria (Our Lady Of Candles - the miraculous Marian image was crowned and declared Patroness of Western Visayas region by Pope John Paul II on his visit to Iloilo in 1981.

- was said to be miraculous because it grows by at least a few centimeters every year and sometimes found to be bathing her child near a fountain inside the Jaro plaza

Asilo De Molo - Three point five (3.5) kilometers south of Iloilo City proper; an orphanage where princely vestments worn by church dignitaries are made, designed and hand embroidered by little orphan girls under the tutelage of the nuns.

Pavia Church - Thirteen (13) kilometers northwest of Iloilo City; red brick church of Byzantine style built by Spanish Augustinians  and used as garrison by the Japanese who drew guerilla raids that pockmarked the walls.

San Joaquin Cemetery - 53 kms, southwest of Iloilo City; built in 1892 of coral rock; a hexagonal chapel crowns a 20 step staircase flanked by stone balustrades; rose windows at the main entrance.

Alimodian Church - built in 1851 and made from corals and limestones. It was first built in 1787 from simple nipa hut and cogon grass but was destroyed by a fire. The church was partly destroyed during the earthquake of 1948 which buried half of its belfry and toppled down all of the churchbells. Only one of the original seven (7) church bells exists today which was said to be one of the loudest church bells in Iloilo.


Museo Iloilo - a repository of Iloilo's cultural heritage: exhibits include scientifically dated fossils, shells and rocks indicating the age of Panay Island. Stone age flake tools; native pottery; ornamented teeth; jewelry excavated from pre-Spanish burial sites and trade pottery from China, Annam and Siam; secondary burial coffins found in forbidden cave; rare pictures, memorabilias and relics of wars: relics from a British sunken ship; Spanish period Filipino sculpture: and modern art by Ilonggo artists.

Magdalena Jalandoni Heritage House - the birthplace of the popular Ilongga poetess, Magdalena Jalandoni which houses vast collections of her work and mediums, antique collections of the things or tools her family used during the colonial Spanish and American period.

Antique Collections - collection of Philippine colonial sculpture, wood, stone and ivory saints. Chinese porcelain wares  and other artifacts.

Lourdes Dellota
E. Lopez St.
Jaro, Iloilo City
Tel. Nos. 320-6686

Letecia Jesena
59 Commission Civil St.
Jaro, Iloilo City

Art Galleries:

Museo Iloilo
Bonifacio Drive
Iloilo City


Sicogon Island - a 1.104 hectare white sand palm-fringed island gradually sloping down to some 350 feet beyond the shoreline; five (5) kms. from the town proper of Estancia and one hundred thirty-seven (137) northeast of Iloilo City. It was where the film "Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat Lupa" (The Most Beautiful Animal In The Land) was taped which was starred by Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz.

Isla De Gigantes - the iconic island paradise which was featured in several pictures and medium was where the 15th century burial caves have been found.  One cave has a stone elephant and a giant natural swimming pool which shapes like a giant cauldron covered or encircled by giant rock formations. It is twelve (12) kilometers east of Estancia.

Nadsadjan Falls - In Igbaras, thirty-nine (39) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City; a 50 foot high falls dropping on  a giant cauldron-like natural swimming pool

Iloilo Plaza Libertad

Molo Plaza

Museo Iloilo 

Sicogon Island, Carles 

Photo Sources: 
Simply Iloilo 
Pinoy Travel

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