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6 Holy Week Destinations in Iloilo Where Devotees Can Go To

These religious destinations in Iloilo are worth visiting this Holy Week.

By: Hyacinth Bangero | March 27, 2018

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Due to changing quarantine measures, the activities, destination/s, store/s, establishment/s featured in this article might be temporarily prohibited or closed under the latest government policies. LGUs might also implement health protocols and travel requirements. Please get in touch with the establishment/s before visiting. Stay safe!


Iloilo Holy Week destinations
Image: Writer

Next to Cebu City, Iloilo is known as a center of the Catholic faith in the Visayas. In fact, tourists look forward to seeing majestic, centuries-old churches within the city and nearby municipalities. Now that Holy Week is here, these churches are central to the Roman Catholic tradition of Visita Iglesia (Church Visit). This practice involves visiting seven churches while praying the Way of the Cross.

If you’re looking for places in Iloilo to reflect on during the Holy Week, below are some places you can go to.


1. Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort

Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: PhP150.00


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Heaven seems to be on earth at Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.

Image: Writer

Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort earned its popularity because of the 480-step pilgrimage site which concludes on a depiction of heaven with cement sculptures painted in white. The inland resort portrays people’s journey to heaven, allowing pilgrims to experience the life that is promised to those who believe in the Catholic faith. The resort also provides imagery of Jesus’ suffering from his condemnation to his death. Tourists come to the place to have a feel of heaven on earth.

The newest feature of the resort enables visitors to pass through a meditation tunnel before entering heaven. However, if you have difficulty climbing the stairs, you may ride a golf cart for PhP150.00 from the gate to the cross.

Travel time from the Iloilo International Airport to Garin Farm is 1.5 hours.


2. Miag-ao Church

Location: Miag-ao, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

The picturesque Baroque Romanesque architecture of Miag-ao Church

Image: Kaloy Moraña

Devotees who want to see a church with Baroque Romanesque architecture may visit the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish or Miag-ao Church. Built in 1797, this church was declared as a national treasure in 1963 and a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site in 1993.

Adobe, egg, coral, and limestone were used in its construction, owing to the ochre color of the church. On its façade is a coconut tree which is believed to be a tree of life. People come and visit to have a glimpse of this picturesque and historical church.

Travel time from the airport to Miag-ao Church is one hour and 20 minutes, traffic permitting.


3. Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral

Location: Jaro, Iloilo City
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of Roman Catholicism in Iloilo.

Image: Michael Andaya

Located at the heart of Iloilo, the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most accessible church destinations for any devotee. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles is believed to be miraculous, thus, the astounding mass of devotees that flock the whole year round at this church located in one of the iconic districts in Iloilo. It is dubbed as the “male church” because only male saints stand on the two rows of pillars that feature prominently inside the church. It is also the venue for the Seven Last Words program aired via Bombo Radio during Good Friday.

Travel time to Jaro Cathedral from the airport is about 30 minutes.


4. Molo Church

Location: Molo, Iloilo City
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Molo Church is the only church in Western Visayas that features all-women saints on its pillars.

Image: Parish of Saint Anne

The Parish of Saint Anne or Molo Church is deemed as the Women’s Church in Iloilo. This is because only women saints are featured in its pillars. The church is considered as a national landmark and most locals go to mass here because of the historical ambience of the church. Every Good Friday, Catholics look forward to the procession of life-sized image of saints. Moreover, this district is home to prominent families in Iloilo which is why locals and tourists can visit heritage houses in Molo as well.

Travel time from the airport to Molo church is around 30 minutes.


5. Sta. Barbara Church

Location: Sta. Barbara, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

The new look of Sta. Barbara Church after its restoration.

Image: Santa Barbara Iloilo Parish Church and Convent

Sta. Barbara Iloilo Parish Church and Convent is also a good destination during Holy Week. Built in 1617 by Augustinian missionaries, the church is known as the Historic Cradle of Independence in Western Visayas. Restored in 1845, the current structure offers churchgoers an experience of Catholicism which is unique among old churches.

People who do Visita Iglesia come to Sta. Barbara Church because of its accessibility. It is near Iloilo City and is just five minutes away from the Iloilo airport.


6. Guimbal Church

Location: Guimbal, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Guimbal Church is made out of limestone from Guimaras Island.

Image: Rabosajr via Wikimedia Commons*

Forced labor enabled the reconstruction of the Guimbal Church or the Church of St. Nicholas de Tolentino in Guimbal, Iloilo after it was ruined by fire. It was rebuilt by the Augustinian friars in the 1700s.

The center aisle of the church features an intricate marble mosaic design. The color of the structure is yellow because of the limestone rocks and coral stone powder used as cement mixture. The place is often visited by tourists and devotees who come from San Joaquin or Bucari.

Guimbal Church is 45 minutes away from the airport via private car, traffic permitting.


By spending time at these churches, your Holy Week spent in Iloilo will certainly be one of reflection and recollection.


* Photo of Guimbal Church by Rabosajr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

* Prices may change without prior notice.
Due to changing quarantine measures, the activities, destination/s, store/s, establishment/s featured in this article might be temporarily prohibited or closed under the latest government policies. LGUs might also implement health protocols and travel requirements. Please get in touch with the establishment/s before visiting. Stay safe!


Iloilo Holy Week destinations
Image: Writer

Next to Cebu City, Iloilo is known as a center of the Catholic faith in the Visayas. In fact, tourists look forward to seeing majestic, centuries-old churches within the city and nearby municipalities. Now that Holy Week is here, these churches are central to the Roman Catholic tradition of Visita Iglesia (Church Visit). This practice involves visiting seven churches while praying the Way of the Cross.

If you’re looking for places in Iloilo to reflect on during the Holy Week, below are some places you can go to.


1. Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort

Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: PhP150.00


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Heaven seems to be on earth at Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.

Image: Writer

Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort earned its popularity because of the 480-step pilgrimage site which concludes on a depiction of heaven with cement sculptures painted in white. The inland resort portrays people’s journey to heaven, allowing pilgrims to experience the life that is promised to those who believe in the Catholic faith. The resort also provides imagery of Jesus’ suffering from his condemnation to his death. Tourists come to the place to have a feel of heaven on earth.

The newest feature of the resort enables visitors to pass through a meditation tunnel before entering heaven. However, if you have difficulty climbing the stairs, you may ride a golf cart for PhP150.00 from the gate to the cross.

Travel time from the Iloilo International Airport to Garin Farm is 1.5 hours.


2. Miag-ao Church

Location: Miag-ao, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

The picturesque Baroque Romanesque architecture of Miag-ao Church

Image: Kaloy Moraña

Devotees who want to see a church with Baroque Romanesque architecture may visit the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish or Miag-ao Church. Built in 1797, this church was declared as a national treasure in 1963 and a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site in 1993.

Adobe, egg, coral, and limestone were used in its construction, owing to the ochre color of the church. On its façade is a coconut tree which is believed to be a tree of life. People come and visit to have a glimpse of this picturesque and historical church.

Travel time from the airport to Miag-ao Church is one hour and 20 minutes, traffic permitting.


3. Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral

Location: Jaro, Iloilo City
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of Roman Catholicism in Iloilo.

Image: Michael Andaya

Located at the heart of Iloilo, the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most accessible church destinations for any devotee. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles is believed to be miraculous, thus, the astounding mass of devotees that flock the whole year round at this church located in one of the iconic districts in Iloilo. It is dubbed as the “male church” because only male saints stand on the two rows of pillars that feature prominently inside the church. It is also the venue for the Seven Last Words program aired via Bombo Radio during Good Friday.

Travel time to Jaro Cathedral from the airport is about 30 minutes.


4. Molo Church

Location: Molo, Iloilo City
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Molo Church is the only church in Western Visayas that features all-women saints on its pillars.

Image: Parish of Saint Anne

The Parish of Saint Anne or Molo Church is deemed as the Women’s Church in Iloilo. This is because only women saints are featured in its pillars. The church is considered as a national landmark and most locals go to mass here because of the historical ambience of the church. Every Good Friday, Catholics look forward to the procession of life-sized image of saints. Moreover, this district is home to prominent families in Iloilo which is why locals and tourists can visit heritage houses in Molo as well.

Travel time from the airport to Molo church is around 30 minutes.


5. Sta. Barbara Church

Location: Sta. Barbara, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

The new look of Sta. Barbara Church after its restoration.

Image: Santa Barbara Iloilo Parish Church and Convent

Sta. Barbara Iloilo Parish Church and Convent is also a good destination during Holy Week. Built in 1617 by Augustinian missionaries, the church is known as the Historic Cradle of Independence in Western Visayas. Restored in 1845, the current structure offers churchgoers an experience of Catholicism which is unique among old churches.

People who do Visita Iglesia come to Sta. Barbara Church because of its accessibility. It is near Iloilo City and is just five minutes away from the Iloilo airport.


6. Guimbal Church

Location: Guimbal, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: Free


Iloilo Holy Week destinations

Guimbal Church is made out of limestone from Guimaras Island.

Image: Rabosajr via Wikimedia Commons*

Forced labor enabled the reconstruction of the Guimbal Church or the Church of St. Nicholas de Tolentino in Guimbal, Iloilo after it was ruined by fire. It was rebuilt by the Augustinian friars in the 1700s.

The center aisle of the church features an intricate marble mosaic design. The color of the structure is yellow because of the limestone rocks and coral stone powder used as cement mixture. The place is often visited by tourists and devotees who come from San Joaquin or Bucari.

Guimbal Church is 45 minutes away from the airport via private car, traffic permitting.


By spending time at these churches, your Holy Week spent in Iloilo will certainly be one of reflection and recollection.


* Photo of Guimbal Church by Rabosajr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

* Prices may change without prior notice.

author

She is a young broadcast journalism professor and marketing officer of the University of San Agustin. She's a proud volunteer of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. Hyacinth is geared to educate, experience, and explore.

Holy Week travel Iloilo City

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