25 July 2011

Lakwatsang Pinoy: Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral

I spent a considerable time in Iloilo Province. In fact, it was my first stop, as I took a one-way flight to Iloilo International Airport from Manila, and checked myself in a cheap hotel. This province is known for its rather well-maintained ancient churches; in fact, one of them even made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. I'll be blogging about them one by one, and as a start, I am showcasing the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in this post.

First, let me show you a couple of pictures of the belfry.

Here you can see the belfry. One piece of trivia here is that the Jaro Cathedral is actually exceptional in that the belfry is detached from the rest of the church. As you can see here, the belfry is actually standing on its own, and the street that is shown in the first picture separates it from the rest of the church. It is rather old, and is of a different architectural style than the rest of the church, as you will see later. On the first picture, you can also get a glimpse of the public transportation in Iloilo, which are the passad jeepneys that are slightly different from the jeepneys in Metro Manila.

The next two pictures above show the facade of the church. It is off-white, and has this interesting staircase at the front, where you can access the balcony at the top of the front entrance. Notice the poster rallying people against the Reproductive Health Bill, as the Roman Catholic Church vehemently opposes it.

What follows next is simply a color explosion: I was quite amazed at the color of the interior, as they pitted beige and blue together to perhaps create the best-looking church interior I have seen in the Philippines. I have seen other beautiful churches, such as the one in Cholula, which sparkled like gold, but this one was pastel-colored, and was more gentle on the eyes. It had a beauty that wasn't shocking, instead, it was a gentle type of architectural beauty that felt welcoming to visitors.

Oh, I visited on a Friday, and there was a wedding the next day, so there were some people who were putting flowers on the stands. Enjoy the pictures.


  1. I wasn't expecting the inside to be so colourful!

    In tropical countries, the outside of buildings is often damaged, probably because of the humidity.

  2. Zhu,

    I know, me too! It was quite a surprise. And I think you're correct, not only the humidity, but also there are typhoons that pass by every year, so that contributes to the decay too.

  3. A typical example of don't judge the book by its cover. Beautiful photos and like Zhu, I didn't expect that the interior would be that colourful, but it doesn't look gaudy.

  4. Charles,

    Very true. The exterior doesn't hint at all regarding how awesome the interior was. And yes, that was the term that I couldn't remember! It wasn't gaudy at all!