Impressive: Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara churches

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The impressive Cabatuan Church

theLOOP north negros route This is the 13th installment of the Luzon – Visayas – Luzon Loop series. Click the image on the right to check out the rest of the posts.

In the Visayas, Iloilo is one of the provinces with many colonial era churches. What better way to spend a few hours before my trip to Kalibo that afternoon than with visiting two of these?

The first time I saw a photo of the church of Cabatuan and I was immediately drawn to it. Its impressive and imposing. An architectural achievement. Its squat but massive twin belfries flanks a simple facade built along neo-classic lines. Finished in 1866, it is one of the biggest churches in Panay.


Cabatuan Cemetery entrance

About a kilometer from the town’s center, just along the road is another architectural gem: the Cabatuan cemetery. It is one of the few remaining camposanto (cemetery) heritage structures in the country that is still intact. Blessed in 1894, it is known for its octagonal chapel with what is considered the most intricate skull and crossbones carving in the country. Check my simbahan.net post for a more detailed treatment.


The beautiful Sta. Barbara Church

The neighboring town of Sta. Barbara also hosts another beautiful colonial era church in Iloilo. Not as massive as that in Cabatuan but equally beautiful with its ornate facade. Construction took 30 years and it was finally finished in 1878.


The mudejar style of the kumbento of Sta. Barbara

What really impressed me about this church is its kumbento. While from the street, it looks like the usual old stone house, inside, especially when one is in the inner courtyard, the intricate designs found at the wooden arches that decorate it is just impressive.


A frieze commemorating the historic Cry of Sta. Barbara

Sta. Barbara was the seat of the revolutionary government against Spain in Panay and thus, was one of the historic places in Iloilo. Behind the church is a frieze commemorating this event.

I help businesses get qualified leads and more sales thru better FB Ads. I'm also a Travel and Architecture/Interiors photographer, blogger and writer based in Cebu, the Philippines.

A true blue Cebuano, I make stunning images and meaningful stories. My work has been published in various coffee table books as well as local and international publications Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and has frequently done photo assignments for Mabuhay, an inflight magazine.

My personal Photography work has been exhibited around Asia and Europe including Paris in France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and around the ASEAN regional capitals.

I am a peripatetic traveler and have been to all 81 Philippine provinces and abroad.

Check out my portfolio site at StanCabigas.

10 thoughts on “Impressive: Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara churches

  1. Impressive indeed! You’re blessed to have visited there with blue skies and cotton-white clouds…

    I think it was overcast when I took photos of this churches…

  2. The details are amazingly intact! Great takes as always.

  3. i only saw the Molo church when i went to Iloilo and maybe some other churches but Molo was close to where we stayed.

    nice churches.

  4. im wowed! really a pro photog!
    re “this is one place that i would want to go back again. bai, di ba lisud magpicture picture especially kung DSLR?”, thats why manguyog ka og local didto. someone who knows the place and language of the place can give you comfort.

  5. beautiful photos… can’t wait for your Cabatuan Church feature on simbahan. Thanks for visiting iloilo, I hope we’ll see you again sometime.

  6. I really like how you incorporate those human elements into your compositions. Brings out the life in them.

    We never got as far as Sta Barbara when we were in Iloilo. Would have been interesting to see that.

  7. gian, i’ll have to do a more detailed photo documentation of Cabatuan church before I release a post about it in simbahan.net.

  8. The big church is so cool. how large is it anyway?

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