Miagao Church, Iloilo – Jan. 22, 2010

Depending on the amount of planning involved, some of my Lakwatsas are divided into two kinds… the planned and the accidental. This particular trip to the iconic Miagao Church was half-half. While researching about things to see in Iloilo while we were down for the Dinagyang Festival, I came across a write up on Miagao Church in the ExploreIloilo.com website. However, despite reading up on it, I really had no plans of going here due to its distance from Iloilo City as you can see from the map below.


View Miagao Church in a larger map

Because we landed at the Iloilo Airport quite early (it was barely even 7:00am), I made a quick decision, calculating distance and time, to make a quick trip to the church. I negotiated a fair price with the taxi operators and we were on our way.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

The trip was quite scenic, with the sun just having rose. We were blessed with clear skies.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

Miagao Church, Iloilo

From Wikipedia

The Miag-ao Church was built in 1786 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries and was declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993. On the front facade, which is flanked by two watchtower belfries, one can see the unique blending of Spanish and native influences.

The central feature of the bas-relief facade is a large coconut tree which reaches almost to the apex. While an integral part of the Philippine landscape, the coconut tree is also the subject of lore. According to an old Philippine legend, the coconut tree was the only bequest from a loving mother to her two children, a tree which sustained them for life. On the church’s facade the coconut tree appears as the "tree of life" to which St. Christopher carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder is clinging to. The lesser facades feature the daily life of Miagaowanons during the time. Also depicted are other native flora and fauna, as well as native dress.

Having seen quite a number of Spanish-era churches, the Miagao Church (aka Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva) was certainly much different than most. This is the first time I have seen such an ornately carved bass-relief on the front of a church.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

While we were there, for a while it didn’t look like the pictures I saw in the exploreiloilo.com website. The church was so clean of dirt, mold, and grime that it looked… new. And while most things clean are usually nice. In this case, it seemed to have lost its character as a church if the the late 1700s.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

The interior of the church was also very clean. For good or for bad… it looked pretty modern.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

Miagao Church, Iloilo

Miagao Church, Iloilo

We went back outside

Miagao Church, Iloilo

Miagao Church, Iloilo

Miagao Church, Iloilo

This one taken from outside the gates. This while a fleet of tricycles were headed my way.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

After exhausting the picture taking and walking around. We jumped back into our van and proceeded to Iloilo CIty for the Dinagyang Festival 2011.

This was a great side trip.

Miagao Church, Iloilo

6 Comments

  1. Good thing you still made it on time for the Dinagyang Festival, it’s a worthwhile side trip naman :)

    Reply
  2. Hi Sir Jojo,

    Actually ill be going in Iloilo by August, I do hope you could give me some advice, on what to do and see in Iloilo….
    kung masyado po mahaba baka po pede pasend sa email ko nlng..kupsi_14@yahoo.com..

    thanks po,
    Brian

    Reply
  3. Hi there! Pwede malaman how much binayad mo sa taxi papuntang miagao church. we’re going there on thursday, dating namin 6 am. Hope you can reply soon. Thanks!
    Wheng

    Reply
    • Because it was quite a distance, I negoed with a taxi mga P1500. From the Airport… to Miagao… then to Iloilo.

      Reply
    • how long is the trip time from iloilo city to miagao? thanks!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo – January 22, 2011 | Lakwatsero Travel Blog - [...] More on this iconic Iloilo landmark in a separate post (here) [...]
  2. Saint Thomas of Villanueva Parish Church/ Parokya ni Santo Tomad de Villanueva/ Church of Miagao (Miagao, Iloilo) « Pinoy Churches - [...] Sites to Visit: Valerie Caulin, I Heart Manila, Nomadic Experiences, The Pinay Solo Backpacker, Lakwatsero, Andre Salvador, En Route, …

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