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Located 53-59 kilometers away from Iloilo city lies one of the oldest towns in Panay Island, the town of San Joaquin. Among numerous historical sites in Iloilo, this town boasts the city’s best-preserved church, Campo Santo de San Joaquin, found inside its local cemetery and sits on a hill overlooking the sea.
Baroque-Oriental style of Architecture
The mortuary chapel known as Campo Santo (translated as a holy field) is a Baroque-style infrastructure that shows a hint of oriental influences. Its hexagonal shape is supported with walls made from coral stones quarried from the nearby coast, fossils, and red clay bricks, while its dome roof consists of galvanized iron sheets. The 20 steps leading to the church is made of white coral rocks, which folklore says is made by the women of San Joaquin for their contribution from the Spanish government. Inside, the chapel is decorated with carvings of flowers and leaves, surrounding the door and its rosette windows, as well as a small replica of La Pieta.
Outside the church, by the entrance of the Cemetery, is an arch with a statue of Jesus Christ at the middle, with his arms outstretched. On both sides are also two cherubs, guarding the resting souls in the holy field.