Guimbal Church in Iloilo - Philippines
The Guimbal Church has always drawn in local visitors but now it is also becoming one of the major tourist attractions in Iloilo and also the Western Visayas. Once you have visited this remarkable site, it will be easy to see why.
The full name of the Guimbal Church is the Church of San Nicolas of Tolentino. The edifice was built in 1774, upon the order of Fr. Campos, the Spanish priest who presided over the town. From that time on to the present, the unique characteristics of the structure has made it very popular.
Some of the other churches in Iloilo were designed in the Neo Classical manner, but the Guimbal Church was patterned in the Baroque style. However, unlike other churches that were modeled after this style, the emphasis is placed on the quality of the edifice, rather than focusing on the size. It also needs to be said that while the overall look and concept of the Guimbal Church is patterned after the Baroque architecture, it is more than that.
For example, the pillars and rosettes have an Oriental look and the columns are distinctly Corinthian in appearance; the spires atop the structure bring to mind the designs of the Moorish temples, while the finials are similar to that of the other churches in Iloilo. The original belfry has been replaced by a new one, but unlike other late additions, has complemented the church.
The passage of time has resulted in various renovations and reconstructions of certain parts of the Guimbal Church, but the inner stone core have remained stable and unchanging, testament to the efficiency of the original building. There were several materials used in the construction of the church, but the majority used were limestone and also some stones called igang.
To find the Guimbal Church, one has to go to the municipality of the same name. It is only half an hour away from Iloilo City, and any jeepney or public utility vehicle can get you there. You can take a jeepney, but for a more comfortable ride a taxi will be the better option. The rate for the ride is negotiable, although it is usually about 200 Php.
The Guimbal Church, in the past, drew the attention of the people when its bells rang signaling danger. To this day, it still draws throngs of people, but this time for its natural beauty.