Friday, April 1, 2011

Church Visit: Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City

After about five hours spent in the island of Guimaras, visiting the Trappist Monastery, Guisi Lighthouse and Raymen Beach Resort, my wife and I sailed back to Iloilo City. Though I wanted to stay overnight in Guimaras to explore more of the island, we did not have the luxury of time as we have to catch an early morning flight to Davao the next day.

Travel time from Jordan Port, Guimaras to Ortiz Port, Iloilo is only 15 minutes. We then hailed a taxi and proceeded to Iloilo Budget Inn located in EL98 12 Castilla St., Jaro, Iloilo City (near the Big Jaro Public Market). I got to know about this hotel through the blog of fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers Pinoy Adventurista. After checking in (rate: 700 pesos for a double room), we rested for an hour since we got tired of our Guimaras exploration. 

At 5 PM, we decided to go to the nearby Jaro Cathedral. The church is walking distance from Iloilo Budget Inn, but since there was a drizzle, we just rode a "trisikad" (bicycle with a sidecar).

The Jaro Cathedral, with its limestone walls, is simply one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. Also known as the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, it was built in 1864, destroyed by a quake in 1948 and was restored in 1956. Philippine hero Graciano Lopez Jaena was baptized in this church.

 A peek inside the Jaro Carthedral

Inside, the church looks as impressive as it is outside. An all-male collection of statues of saints lined along the church's interiors. 

After taking photos inside the church, we went outside and climbed the balcony perched above the main door. Above, a statue of Nuestra SeƱora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles) can be found inside a glass casement. The statue is believe to be miraculous and is honored every February 2 with the Jaro Fiesta.

 The stairway going up to the Lady of the Candles shrine.

Acknowledgment to the donors of the shrine.

This statue of the Lady of the Candles in Jaro Cathedral is the only religious icon in the country to have been personally crowned by a Pope

One major footnote in the Jaro Cathedral's history was when Pope John Paul II conducted a mass here in 1982. The Pope crowned the Lady of the Candles and proclaimed it as the Patroness of Western Visayas.

The Jaro Cathedral is also among the few churches in the Philippines that has its belfry separated from it. The bell tower is located across the busy street and directly fronting the church. In the past, the Jaro Belfry was used as a lookout tower for sea raiders.

Getting there:

 (image from google maps)

From any point in Iloilo City, you can take a taxi and tell the driver you are going to Jaro Cathedral. Or you can make your way to the main street of Iloilo city and ride a passenger jeepney with the "JARO" signboard.


  1. Hello po. nice yung blog mo. :) May I know kung ano pa nice places na ivisit sa Iloilo? pupunta kasi kami jan next month. Thanks!

  2. pinoy travel pod: aside from the jaro cathedral, you may also visit molo church, miag-ao church, san joaquin church and the san joaquin cemetery. also, take a side trip to guimaras island since it is only 15 minutes away by boat from iloilo city.

  3. @pinoy adventurista: thanks also for your tips.that was really helpful.: )

  4. heard so much bout iloilo.. never been here before.. is this place as cool as cebu?



  6. thanks for featuring jaro cathedral..

  7. nice blog bro...


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