Magnificent Miagao fortress church

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Miagao Church

I have always wanting to see Miagao Church even just for a minute, and photograph even only the famous facade. Coming from Iloilo City, Miagao Church is strategically located along the highway, and just a short right turn and you are there. I was glad that there was an "official" go-signal to drop by the church to kill some time after a foiled morning itinerary. Add to it the fact that we spent not only a minute but a little more than 30 minutes, which is more than enough for me to explore the major parts and get some good shots of the exterior and interior, and for the "official party" to do some posterity photos, too!

Miagao church is a must for a traveler like me and for anyone who would be going near Iloilo City. After all, it is officially one of four (4) UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines.

Miagao church

Miagao church, for me, has the most beautiful facade of all the churches in the Philippines with its bas-relief of the rural Miagao that is replete with history, folklore, culture, and symbolism.  More than its physical attributes, however, is the beautiful story behind this church--it is then and now--a church by the people.

Stories had been told that the Miagaonons were armed only with indigenous knowledge on construction and the common goal of having a house of worship and at the same time to defend Miagaonons from marauders.  Without the knowledge and expertise of schooled engineers and architects, they have built not only a church but also a fortress.

Miagao church

The structure that we see today had stood the test of time and calamities. The church has been rebuilt and reconstructed several times since it was first built in 1734 due to constant raids by sea marauders or pirates that burned the church and they had to deal with natural catastrophes like earthquakes as the wars that the Philippines has gone through.

To this day, 216 years after the beautiful stone church named after Sto. Tomas de Villanueva was built in 1797, it still stands strong and well preserved in the modern times--a living testimony of its people who loved this church for more than two centuries.

Miagao church

For the rest of history: READ HERE.
More photos in FLICKR.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Traveling Morion said...

ang kapal ng walling at ganda talaga ng detalye ng church sir Ding

Admin/Author said...

from afar, mukhang maliit lang sya but not when you go near and scale it with a person's size. Yes, I really love the details.

Bonzenti | Con Tour Blog said...

This is my dream destination ding after my Cebu visit, to continue my visita iglesia series. Yeah, it is really amazing, the fact that the the people who constructed have no knowledge about strength of materials or engineering concept in building a strong fortress but yet they managed to build this kind of structure(s) during spanish time. Like in the ancient Pyramid in Egypt. For me, this is really an amazing fact.

Its nice to be back here.

Micole l Philippine traveler said...

Sir ding! ang ganda ng facade! The detail, parang sa TV ko lang nakikita, sinong mag-aakala na sa andito lang pala ito sa Pinas! I think I found my dream church for my wedding? =)

Bravo for this post! I have to share!