Molo Church in Iloilo: ‘Female church’ of the city
One famous activity among tourists in Iloilo is church-hopping. As several old churches tower over the city, these historical and religious gems are considered the skyscrapers of Iloilo. They also serve as a portal to the events of the long-distant past.
Molo Church, also known as Saint Anne’s Parish, would be a good starting point for your church-hopping. It is considered as one of the most beautiful churches in Western Visayas and the only Gothic church outside Manila. It can be easily identified through its most prominent architectural feature: the red spires on top of the two bell towers.
Built in 1831 using white coral rocks and egg whites, Molo Church has withstood the test of time, enduring natural catastrophes and the havoc of World War II.
Go inside and take a look (with veneration) around the surviving architecture from the Spanish, American and Japanese occupation in the province. Beautiful murals dominate the walls around the altar, which are proof of the artistic gift of two local artists, Mariano Mabunay and Jesue Hervas, and a reminder of the Christian faith.
Molo Church is also known as the “female church” because of the female saint statues that stand on each pillar on the aisles of the church. At the center of the altar is where Saint Anne, the patron saint of Molo, stands.
Outside Molo Church is the Molo district plaza where you can also hang out while admiring the towering façade and the surroundings. It is best to visit the church from late afternoon to evening, especially if you want to take amazing photos of Molo Church, which becomes more mystical at night.
This feature appears in the December 2017 issue of Philippine Primer Japanese magazine.
Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño