Hop on this journey to the South countryside of Iloilo and witness the transformation of history and architecture in various churches and lands. Sometimes a trip to the past is just what you need to appreciate the present.
After the driver guide picks you up within Iloilo City, you will be taken to San Joaquin Church, a Roman Catholic Church built in 1869. It distinguishes itself from other churches because of its facade depicting the Spanish victory over the Moroccan forces during the Battle of Tetuan. The church is made of limestones quarried from the mountains of Iqbaras and white coral stones from its shores.
Alongside that is the San Joaquin Cemetery or the Campo Santo, a cemetery popular for its baroque architecture made of white coral and fossil stones. The cemetery is enclosed by stone walls and wrought iron grills. It is one of the best-preserved cemetery in the entire province and sits on a hill overlooking the sea. Standing at the center is the Baroque-style mortuary chapel which is the centerpiece of the cemetery.
Following that is the Garin Farm of San Joaquin where you will experience a unique spiritual journey. The farm is an inland resort that combines architecture, leisure, and religion to form a recreational place and a pilgrimage site in one location. The place is also a functional farm that showcases agricultural practices and houses various livestock and crops.
You can buy your pasalubong treats at Mama’s Kitchen and Sinamay House. It is a well-preserved ancestral house that acts like a museum featuring sinamay while selling delicacies such as crunchies with various flavors such as cashew, pinipig, tsokolate, and peanut.
Next, you will be taken to one of the oldest churches in the country, the Guimbal Church, built in 1774 by Father Campos. This church is made of yellow sandstones, adobe stones called igang, and coral stones quarried from Guimaras. Its belfry is four stories high and became a watchtower during the Spanish occupation against the Moro pirates.
Not so far is the Taytay Boni, a stone bridge built in 1854 originally meant to be used by horse-drawn carriages. It was built using large yellow coral stone slabs called tablea from the mountain of Iqbaras and held together using lime. It was still passable before and after the World War II. The route of the old Spanish road can be seen into the distance at the end of the bridge.
Lunch will be served at Camina Balay na Bato, a 150-year-old stone house in Molo turned into a restaurant to serve Iloilo’s best heirloom dishes. It is the perfect place for food, history, and stories of Iloilo told by the 4th generation of the Caminas family. Don’t forget to try and get a taste of the rich and thick Pancit Molo with the meaty Molo dumpling.
After that, you will visit a Latin American-style church Tigbauan Church. The church was constructed in 1575 but was destroyed during an earthquake in 1948. Its facade is in Mexican plateresque and at the center is an Augustinan order seal surrounded by a retablo-like floral frieze. Above is a niche flanked by pilasters embellished with flowers and a depiction of San Juan and an image of Santo Nino.
The tour will end at the majestic Miag-ao Church or the Church of Saint Thomas of Villanova. Completed in 1797, the church is famous for its artistic sculptural relief carved on its façade. It is the living legacy of the culture and way of life of the people in Miag-ao which is anchored in the strong foundation of their Christian faith.
Appreciate Iloilo’s heritage sites with this private guided day trip. Check availability by choosing a date above.
- All our guides speak English.
- Not all establishments accept credit or debit cards, and ATMs can be limited.
- 455 steps to the cross in Garin Farm.
- Lunch Option: (Camiña Balay Nga Bato, Breakthrough, Tatoy's)