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Iloilo City | Jaro Cathedral

A visit to Iloilo City or anywhere else, for that matter, is never complete without a tour of the city and its stunning attractions. The city has its fair share of landmarks and tourist spots, including the grand Jaro Cathedral, also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles and formally as the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral.

Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City


Just a little tidbit of information, the cathedral is the second to be declared as a national shrine in the Visayas, the first of which is Cebu’s Basilica del Santo Niño.

The church is in possession of relics of St. Josemaria Escriva.


Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City


Unique Features

This admirable cathedral is said to be built in Romanesque Revival style. It also has several distinctive features that make it unique from the usual architecture of cathedrals in the country.

One really remarkable feature that makes it unique is that the main entrance to the church features stairs leading to the image of Our Lady of the Candles. In most Catholic churches, the image is set by the belfry or in another part of the church, but not on its façade.


Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City


Speaking of the belfry, the church’s belfry deviates from the usual location adjacent or even directly to connected with the church building. Instead, it is set across a busy street! Wow! Why did they do that? 

"Sa pagkakaalam ko kuya, the belfry was used as a watch tower. It's one of the few churches in the country na hindi naka attach ung belfry sa church mismo (2 are in Ilocos). Twice na nasira ung upper part ng belfry because of earthquakes, ung isa was named lady caycay that also brought down the churches of Oton, Lambunao, Leon and etc. There are old photos of the church kahit noon pa na magkahiwalay sila talaga..."
- Antoine Greig| cafeilonggo.blogspot.com

Except for the Marian central image, this church only has male saints in all its columns.

By the way, did you know that the church’s Marian image was canonically crowned by the late Pope John Paul II in 1981 when he visited Iloilo? That makes the cathedral’s Our Lady of the Candles as the only Marian statue holding such stature in this country.


Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City


Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City


History

This beautiful Cathedral was originally built and consecrated in 1874 but was destroyed by the 1948 earthquake that hit the city. It was rebuilt in its current location under Jose Maria Cuenco, the first Archbishop of Jaro, in 1956.

It is part of the cathedral’s long history but it also holds the distinction of being the place where national hero and Propaganda Movement co-founder Graciano López Jaena was baptized.


Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City

In 1976, the cathedral was declared as a historical landmark by the National Historical Institute of the Philippines while it was in 2012 when it became the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles as approved by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.






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Injap Tower Hotel is the official residence of Traveling Morion and Blogger Participants during the 3-day (August 16-18) Blog the City of Love Event. Organized and sponsored by Injap Tower Hotel, it aims to promote Iloilo City as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations. 
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11 comments:

  1. Wow, the interior design is beautiful! . Are the two bell towers just an addition?

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  2. Bro, kung saan-san ka na nakararating. Thanks for the bits of info about this church. Ganda ng interior.

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  3. Beautiful church! I love cathedrals and old churches. There is so much history to learn just by visiting them. No need to travel out of the country to appreciate medieval architecture!

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  4. historical places to visit is a great way of learning new things and at the same time seeing the place yourself too.

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  5. I heard so many good things about Iloilo and I would definitely consider this place once I have a chance to go home.Thanks for sharing it's dry nice place.

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  6. Awesome church! I'm always attracted to big churches as they really have great design that reminds you of old times. I bet when I sing few lines of a song, the sound will bounce all over the church! :D

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  7. What a lovely church! I'm glad we're able to preserve Jaro Cathedral so that more and more people will get to see it.

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  8. OLD Jaro Cathedral Photo with original belfry:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KhYy8wZmRUo/VM5FhyuNdEI/AAAAAAAAPR8/IDEyg5MIvAI/s1600/10968459_991382387558436_3582083168987706701_n.jpg

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