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Cathedral of Jaro
Province:  Iloilo
10° 43.418N   122° 33.397E
Listed in Gallery:   Old Church

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The Jaro Cathedral is among the churches in the Philippines that has its belfry separated from it, across the national highway and situated in Jaro's Plaza. Historically, was used as a ?lookout? tower for sea raiders. The historical marker of the church states, that Philippine hero Graciano Lopez-Jaena was baptized there.

The Jaro Cathedral is the first and only cathedral in Panay built in 1864. One of its high points in Panay's history was the visit of Pope John Paul VI, conducting a mass in 1982.

Visitors can go up to a kind of a veranda or balcony at the front of the Jaro cathedral where an icon of a Madonna and child, approximated to be life size. It is encased in glass and is dressed in typical cape. It has a large white choker around its neck. Catholic devotees believed that the image is miraculous and is originally sheltered further up in a small niche atop the churchfront. Over the years, the icon is believed to have grown in size, and when it could no longer fit the niche, it had to be brought down, hence its current location.

Jaro itself has an interesting story: the town?s old name is Salog from the Salog river nearby. For unknown reasons the Spaniards changed it to Jaro. One would want to visit Jaro again in February when its traditional fiesta of Nuestra Se?ora de la Candelaria happens, which is said to rival the grand fiesta celebration in Molo (also in Panay area).

how to get there:

From either Airport or from the fast craft ride from Iloilo's seaport, you can either take a cab/taxi and indicate you are going to Jaro Plaza or cathedral. Another option is to make your way to the main street of Iloilo city (a small walk actually since the port is very conveniently located near the Old City proper) and check out the passing round trip jeepneys with "JARO" trips. Fare is usually less than 10 pesos.

Waypoint narrative by: paulperez 2005     follow paulperez on Facebook