Miagao Church, Iloilo (Santo Tomas de Villanueva)

Miagao Church
Miag-ao Church or the Church of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva is an old baroque church in Miag-ao, Ilo-Ilo. It is one of the world-famous baroque churches in the Philippines and it became one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The construction of this church began in 1787 while Fray Francisco M. Gonzales. O.S.A. was the parish priest of Miag-ao and Domingo Libo-on was the Gobernadorcillo. The Church was completed in 1797 and it served as the fortress against the Muslim Raiders. In 1898, during the revolution, this church was destroyed but then it was rebuilt.

The Facade, Design, and Architecture

The facade of Miag-ao Church has a variety of designs and local symbols. It was built using yellowish limestone where a huge image of a coconut tree, as well as, St. Christopher carrying Baby Jesus on his shoulder are carved.

In 1910, it was damaged by fire and was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1948. Restoration work began in 1960 and was completed in 1962 during the term of office of the Most Rev. Dr. Jose Ma. Cuenco, D.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Jaro, of Msgr. Fernando S. Javillo, D.P., Parish Priest of this town and Dioscoro Mueda, Municipal Mayor.

According to some stories in this town, since this church contains 1.5 meters thick walls, 6 meters deep, the people believe that it contains a secret passage going to somewhere else. Well, this is just speculation and has not yet been proven until today.

Rates, Budget Friendly and Affordable Place to Stay in Iloilo
During my Ilo-Ilo adventure, I stayed at ONG BUN PENSION HOUSE for only 350 pesos per night for a fan room.

HOW TO GET HERE: From Manila, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines has a direct flight to Ilo-Ilo Airport. From the airport take a cab to Super. Then, ride a jeepney with "Miag-Ao" or "San Joaquin" sign board and alight in Miag-Ao. On the left, you will see Tigbauan Church and Guimbal Church while Miag-ao Church is on the right. Available public transportation to Ilo-Ilo City are jeepney or UV Express van.