This is the 4th of a series. No doubt about it, I’m a sucker for old churches. That’s why when I travel, the first place that I go to see is the church, especially if it is colonial era. Not to pray, but to admire these architectural wonders as well as to take photos or do some documentation. I always find time to make my own visita iglesia.
For religious heritage lovers, Iloilo and Negros are must go to places in the Visayas. The former is a showcase of the Augustinian legacy as Panay island was where this pioneering order made its mark while the latter was administered by the Augustinian Recollects. Of course, like in other parts of the country, several of these churches have undergone various restorations and renovations that it is now impossible to see still untouched structures.
Dominating the downtown area of Bacolod City is the Cathedral of San Sebastian. I do like its architecture: lofty and solid but elegant as well. Its lines and curves pleases the eye.
Of the churches featured in this post, the one in La Carlota is massive and imposing that when I first saw it, I can’t help but see it as a little version of Cabatuan in Iloilo. Its facade is simple and without the rich embellishments of other churches.
The church in Hinigaran is a welcome change to the usual two towered design of the other old churches in Negros. Not only that, the facade is triangular in form with the topmost part softened into a semicircle.
Just along the main highway, the church of Valladolid is another beautiful church. Unfortunately, when I passed this place, they were cleaning the facade and didn’t get a good picture of the front details. The kumbento located at the right side was already in ruins as it was gutted by fire.
Known for its statues of all female saints, the church in Molo, Iloilo is an imposing structure with its clearly Gothic inspired architecture setting it apart from the rest of the churches in Eastern Visayas.
Perhaps, the most known church in Iloilo because of its stature as a World Heritage Site, the only one in the Visayas, Miag-ao Church is an architectural and religious heritage gem. The first church was located at the coast but due to the Moro slave raids, they built the present one, overlooking a hill. This fortress church features two towers of unequal height and really thick walls, with one serving as a watchtower. Its pediment is decorated with a relief showing the child-Christ on the shoulders of S. Christopher among local flora.
The church in San Joaquin is the only church in the country that has a carved relief of a historical event: Rendicion de Tetuan or the Surrender of Tetuan, which commemorates the victory of Spain against the Moors in Morocco. Not as popular as Miag-ao, it is only a few kilometers more and worth the trip.