Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jaro Cathedral


The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles informally known as Jaro Cathedral is the cathedral seat for the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jaro. It was built in 1864, the year the district was named a diocese by Pope Pius the IX, by order of His Grace Mariano Cuartero, first bishop of Jaro. Destroyed in the quake of January 1948 and restored by order of His Excellency Jose Ma. Cuenco, first archbishop of Jaro in 1956. The cathedral’s style is basically Baroque, with the addition of Gothic elements over many renovations.

Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles)

The Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles) is the only rose among the all-male collection of statues which line the walls of the cathedral’s interiors. The Lady of Candles is perched on a glass encased shrine carved out of the facade. The limestone is said to be continuously growing, and in fact had become too large to fit into its original niche just above the present one. Her shrine is visited often by many devotees who believe the statue to be miraculous. This 400-year-old image is the focus of an annual Jaro Fiesta held every February 2.

Jaro Belfry

The structure was built in 1744 by the Spaniards, and while the structure was essentially a religious shrine, it also served as a military watchtower. However, in 1787, the Jaro Belfry was heavily damaged by a powerful earthquake. It was not until 1883, several decades later, that any attempt at reconstructing the place began, through the efforts of Father Jesse Alvarez.

Historical records show that in 1881, another quake struck the place and in 1948, another powerful tremor leveled the structure. However, the setbacks were only temporary, and once again, reconstruction was started, and under the supervision of the National Institute, the shrine was rebuilt and declared a National Historical Landmark. Today the Jaro Plaza has become one of the major tourist attractions in the province, and the biggest draw is this edifice, which today has been restored fully.
The Jaro Belfry today i used primarily by tourists and visitors to the city for the purpose of obtaining gorgeous vistas of the city. However, it is also admired for its structure, which ranks as among the most exquisite in Iloilo and the Philippines.


 From Iloilo International Airport take a van that cost Php 50.00 pesos per passenger. You can also board a tricycle or jeepney bound for the area, and you just need to kindly inform the driver to take you to the belfry. It is near the Jaro Plaza, so you can use that place as a landmark. The cost of a jeepney ride by the way, is only Php 7.50. Check with your hotel to see if it is included in the package tour; if it is, they will take care of the transportation for you.



Post a Comment



Share Your Blessings

Popular Posts