Museo De Rosendo Mejica, Iloilo

Rosendo Mejica is a famous essayist-journalist during the Japanese regime. He founded the Makinaugalingon Press in Iloilo City that stresses the awareness and educates Filipino of the Hiligaynon Literature.

The Philippine government built the Museo de Rosendo Mejica to display valuable memorabilia, facts about the social and cultural literature of the Hiligaynon and the English & Spanish literature dating from the last quarter of the 19th century up to the 6th decade of the 20th century.

This museum located in Molo, Iloilo City also showcases the furniture’s, household objects and other memorabilia of the Mejica family.

Address: 251 Lopez Jaena St., Baluarte Molo Iloilo City, Iloilo, Western Visayas
Open Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Monday to Friday)

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ILOILO

ILOILO, the largest province in Panay Island of the Western Visayas Region, is divided into 42 municipalities & 1 component city, composed of 1,721 brgys. with Iloilo City as the provincial capital.  Iloilo takes its name from Irong-Irong, the old name of the city of Iloilo, a tongue of land that sitcks out like a nose on the south side of the Iloilo River.

This mystical province, poised for progress, is famous for its delightful contrast between the east & west, the old and new … of tall buildings and nipa hus, of modern streamers and scurrying native boats, of free-wheeling cars and jeepneys.

A heritage and adventure destination in this side of the region, Iloilo prides itself with having the country’s oldest and well-preserved churches, ancestral homes, & other historical landmarks, resplendent festivals, unspoiled coastal communities with pristine beaches and islands.

Iloilo is harnessing the potentials of its strategic location, abundant resources & established facilities to attain revitalized growth.  Centrally located, it serves as the gateway to Southern Philippines and holds an unparalleled advantage of being the hub of trade, commerce and industry.

Agriculture is the principal industry of Iloilo.  Its production of rice, sugar, mongo, fish and other major producs has placed the province among the country’s top agricultural prodcuers.

While Iloilo teems with energy and vibrancy of new developments, the glory of its heritage is stiill evident in its architecture and lives on in the hearts of its people.  Truly, Iloilo is a destination that fulfill your needs, a place for history, business, leisure and one that you could proudly call home.

How To Get Here

Travel by Air: From Manila to Iloilo that takes about an hour. From Cebu to Iloilo its only 35 minutes by plane and 2 hours from Davao and Cotabato.

You can try by Sea: From Manila to Iloilo, sailing time is about 20 hours.From Zamboanga or Cagayan de Oro to Iloilo,about 14 hours and from Cebu to Iloilo, 12 hours. Lastly, Fastcrafts from Bacolod City to Iloilo take 50 minutes.
Another Economical way to travel is nautical highway service by roll-on-roll-off (RORO) vessels fom various parts of the country. Bus terminals are in Ali Mall Cubao, Quezon City and Pasay City.

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Miag-ao Church, Iloilo

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site trip and this is the Miag-ao Church in Iloilo. The starting point of my trip is in Iloilo supermarket which is located at the back of the Robinson Place Iloilo. Beside the Iloilo supermarket you will see the terminal station and you will be riding the jeepney going to Miag-ao (Fare is 60 PHP). The travel time is approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 30min. The jeepney will just drop you right in front of the church so you don’t need to worry.

I’m really fascinated with the church facade. The yellowish color of the church makes it more attractive.

Miag-ao Church Front ViewMiag-ao Church FacadeMiag-ao Church Front Wall SculptMiag-ao Church SideviewMiag-ao Church WindowMiag-ao ChurchMiag-ao Church Altar

Useful Facts:

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. 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.

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.

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Dinagyang

What is Dinagyang?

The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan. It is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.

Dinagyang began after Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez of a local Roman Catholic parish introduced the devotion to Santo Niño in November 1967. In 1968, a replica of the original image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo by Fr. Sulpicio Enderez as a gift to the Parish of San Jose. The faithful, led by members of Confradia del Santo Niño de Cebu, Iloilo Chapter, worked to give the image a fitting reception starting at the Iloilo Airport and parading down the streets of Iloilo.

In the beginning, the observance of the feast was confined to the parish. The Confradia patterned the celebration on the Ati-atihan of Ibajay, Aklan, where natives dance in the streets, their bodies covered with soot and ashes, to simulate the Atis dancing to celebrate the sale of Panay. It was these tribal groups who were the prototype of the present festival.

In 1977, the Marcos government ordered the various regions of the Philippines to come up with festivals or celebrations that could boost tourism and development. The City of Iloilo readily identified the Iloilo Ati-atihan as its project. At the same time the local parish could no longer handle the growing challenges of the festival.

The Dinagyang is divided into three Major events: Ati-Ati Street Dancing, Kasadyahan Street Dancing and Miss Dinagyang.

Today, the main part of the festival consists of a number of “tribes”, called “tribus”, who are supposed to be Ati tribe members dancing in celebration. There are a number of requirements, including that the performers must paint their skin brown and that only indigenous materials can be used for the costumes. All dances are performed to drum music. Many tribes are organized by the local high schools. Some tribes receive a subsidiary from the organizers and recruit private sponsors, with the best tribes receiving the most. The current Ati population of Iloilo is not involved with any of the tribes nor are they involved in the festival in any other way.

Dinagyang was voted as the best Tourism Event for 2006,2007 and 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.

The first festival in the world to get the support of the United Nations for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals.

Cited by the Asian Development Bank as Best Practice on government, private sector & NGO cooperation. (from Wikipedia).

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I really wanted to use my own Dinagyang pictures but my face was all over it so I decided to use pictures from my lovely college professor Ces Maria Amular and you can avail her services by visiting Amular Photography

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