ILOILO TOURIST SPOTS: Miagao Church, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The town of Miagao is a 1st class municipality located approximately 40 km southwest of Iloilo City. It is well known for its 18th century church, the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church. Built in 1787 by the Spanish Augustinian missionaries, it was declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993. Its fortress-like design suggests its dual purpose - as a place of worship and as a fort used in defending the town against Moro raiders during that time.

In Baroque-Romanesque style, the church sinks six (6) meters deep into the ground with walls one-and-a-half (1 1/2) meters thick and buttresses thrice thicker in size. A truly 'Philippine Church', it exudes a native touch. Its artistic facade is decorated with a relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child amidst coconut, papaya and guava shrubs. A large stone image of St. Thomas of Villanueva, parish patron saint, dominates the center. Carved life-size statues of the Pope and St. Henry with their coat-of-arms above them flank the main entrance. (source)

Supporting the facade are the twin belfries, one towering four-storeys and the other three-storeys high. The church’s simple interior is highlighted by a striking gold-plated retablo.

Needless to say, the Miagao Church is one of our country’s architectural religious landmarks because of its unique design, ornaments and motifs.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the amazing Baroque Churches in our country and is well worth visiting at.

How to get there
From Iloilo City, take the jeepney bound for Miagao at supermarket located at the back of Robinson's Place Iloilo. Fare is around 60 pesos and travel time is about 40 minutes.

Happened last November 20-22, 2010, Ilo-ilo - Guimaras Adventure is a series of blog posts of my 3-day experience in these 2 lovely provinces in the Visayas. Discover the places we've been to, the people we met, the food we tasted and the experience we gained in this memorable adventure.

| Jordan Port, Museo De Guimaras and Trappist Monastery | Guisi Point Light House and Guisi Beach in Nueva Valencia | Raymen and Rico Beach Resorts | Island Hopping Adventure | Budget Inn, SM City and Mooon Cafe | San Joaquin Church, San Joaquin Iloilo | Campo Santo in San Joaquin Iloilo | Miagao Church, A UNESCO World Heritage Site |


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  1. wahhaa unesco heritage... i want too.... sayang...

  2. Muntik na kaming naligaw dito, Miagao kami ng Miagao, Miag-ao pala pronounciation LOL kaya hindi kami gaano maintindihan ng mga locals. Too bad when we went there close din, yung loob pa naman daw maganda and bad timing din coz it's sunset, maganda raw siya kapag sunrise eeekkk!!

  3. @Axl-yeah, puntahan mo din ito if u have time...

    @empi-yes indeed!

    @Ada-wahahaha!!! we were there also on a sunset... at since monday yun, sarado din ang church... sayang nga eh... thanks po..

  4. Napuntahan ko ang simbahang ito noong summer 2005 at ito'y under renovation. Sana makabalik ulit ako!

  5. @Reymos - yeah, masarap cyang balikan... di sayang ang oras at pagod...

  6. Yang mga batang yan, college pa lang ako jan sila tumatambay pag hapon. Hehe! Memories...

  7. Mga batang yan, lagi na lang yan jan pag bandang hapon--since college. Hay, the church brings back memories of my life in Miag-ao. Simple life, grocery dito, kain doon, tambay jan, lakad pauwi ng dorm...those were the days.

  8. Miagao church is truly one-of-a-kind.. :)


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