December 08, 2017

Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo: ‘Male church’ of the city

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  • Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo: ‘Male church’ of the city
  • This old Baroque cathedral along Plaza Rizal St. in Jaro goes by names like the “National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles” and “Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary” but is more widely known as Jaro Cathedral. Built only three decades after the Molo Church was constructed, Jaro Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Iloilo and is also a great spot for people who are fond of architecture, history, and sightseeing.

    If Molo Church is the “female church,” Jaro Cathedral is the “male church” because of the male saints that stand on the two rows of pillars inside the church. One female, however, reigns over the cathedral – the Lady of the Candles. A 400-year-old image of Mother and Child can be found at the façade, over the entrance of the church and is believed to be miraculous.

    Another unique feature of Jaro Cathedral and a well-known landmark is the belfry, also called Campanario de Jaro, which is separated from the church and can be seen on the opposite side of the road. In history, it is said to have been used as a watchtower against intruders.

    Jaro Cathedral is found along a busy street. It is best to go here early in the morning (before grabbing delicious breakfast in nearby restaurants) or at sunset to capture stunning photos of the church and its belltower.

    This feature appears in the December 2017 issue of Philippine Primer Japanese magazine.
    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño

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