Magnificent Spanish-era Architecture of Miag-ao Church

Magnificent Spanish-era Architecture of Miag-ao Church

Photo by Raine Medina of
Magnificent Spanish-era Architecture of Miag-ao Church

Among the many spectacular churches in the region, the Miag-ao Church is unique in being used as a fortress in ancient times.  Besides protecting its parishioners, it has served as a source of pride because of its magnificent Spanish-era architecture that still remains today.

The Miag-ao Church was built in 1786 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries and was declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993.

Photo by Constantine Agustin of
On the front facade, which is flanked by two watchtower belfries, one can see the unique blending of Spanish and native influences.

The central feature of the bas-relief facade is a large coconut tree which reaches almost to the apex. While an integral part of the Philippine landscape, the coconut tree is also the subject of lore. According to an old Philippine legend, the coconut tree was the only bequest from a loving mother to her two children, a tree which sustained them for life. On the church's facade the coconut tree appears as the "tree of life" to which St. Christopher carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder is clinging to. The lesser facades feature the daily life of Miagaowanons during the time. Also depicted are other native flora and fauna, as well as native dress.

Photo by Constantine Agustin of
The church and its watchtowers were also built to defend the town and its people against raids by the Moros. It therefore has thick walls and, reportedly, secret passages. Indeed stretching along the Iloilo coast are defensive towers, but none that equal the size of the Miag-ao. It is because of this defensive purpose that it is sometimes referred to as the Miag-ao Fortress Church.
Photo by Raine Medina of

 List of airlines that have daily trips to Manila to Iloilo:

  • Cebu Pacific
  • Air Philippines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Zest Air

By Sea:

From Manila Ports, the travel time going to Iloilo Domestic Port, located along General Hughes St.,  is about 20 hours.

By Land:

There are buses from Manila that have trips to Iloilo City. The bus uses the roro (roll-on-roll-off) services going to Iloilo. The bus terminals in Cubao and Pasay have buses with trips going to Iloilo.

When touring the province, taxis and jeepneys are available as a mode of transportation around the province.

Published on : 07/03/2018 by Puerto Parrot

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