Friday, May 18, 2012

Lakbay Rizal @ 150: Molo Church in Iloilo

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Date: May 17, 2012
Location: Jocson and San Marcos Streets, Molo District, Iloilo City
Rizal @ 150 Stamp:  No. 17 - Molo Church (St. Anne's Parish) and Escolta
Rizal's boat, the S.S. Espana from Dapitan arrived at Iloilo where he had the chance to visit Escolta and the Church of Molo. 

Finally, my brother Joel and I (minus Kuya Mike) were in Iloilo yesterday for the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail after a cancellation (without a refundof our Cebu Pacific flights Manila- Iloilo-Dumaguete-Cebu-Manila segments last February 1-7, 2012. It was blessings in disguise coz there was an earthquake then in Dumaguete.
Pre-national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal visited this astonishing Baroque architectural church on his way to Manila from exile in Dapitan last August 4, 1886 (Tuesday). Like Dr. Rizal who exclaimed "La iglesia bonita!"(pretty church) upon seeing this landmark built in 1831, we too were impressed by its size and beauty from  the outside in.
As a national landmark since 1992, the Molo Church is a reflection of the dominant Catholic influence among the Ilonggos. It resembles their deep spirituality as well as its enduring legacy of majestic artistry as shown by its spires, two belfries which had  around 30 bells of different sizes and its two pointed towers and pointed arches at the main altar.
Dr. Rizal described in his diary "The church is pretty and the interior is not bad, considering that it had been painted by a lad. The paintings are mostly copies of biblical scenes by Gustave Doré".  
The Church is dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Blessed Virgin Mary (who co-incidentally were the two female saints from whom my parents coined my name Mary Ann). Interestingly, 16 images of female saints stand on each pillar. This is aptly called a "women's church". 

We walked to Panciteria de Molo which is a few meters away from Molo Church to get another stamp on our Rizal @ 150 Passport!

There were two old ladies there who accommodated us that early morning. We bought galletas (Php 120) as our pasalubong and token of appreciation for their nice gesture
And like our national hero, we maximized our short stay in Iloilo by doing the TAKE 4 from 6am to 1pm and boarding the Weesam Express (Php 330 each business class) bound for Bacolod City at 1:10 p.m. to hop on to our next stop -  Dumaguete - No. 18 on the Rizal @ 150 Passport.


  1. Molo Church is beautiful---^^__^^

  2. hmm. it has similar interiors to Jaro Church. I was confused for a second as there are also life-sized statues lining the posts inside Jaro Church. Thought I named the wrong church in my blog, but it turned out that they were two different churches pala. hehe

  3. Truly, one of our country's best landmarks.

    The Molo Church building ought to be well-maintained at all times.

  4. i will vist ilo ilo in october! excited to roam around the city! :)

  5. The Molo church is beautiful. I wish I can join a culture high trip like this.:)

  6. Rizal got it right when he said "La iglesia bonita!"

  7. I haven't visited this church for the life of me..
    I spent over 6 years of my life in Iloilo..
    This church i'd like to photograph in the future too,
    knowing that its in Baroque Style and the only feminish church in the country

  8. i admire how gorgeous churches in philippines they are amazing! xx

  9. Churches like that makes me wanna go back to that time when life was easy and community peaceful :)


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