Molo Church in Iloilo - Philippines
Grandiose and splendid, the Molo Church in Iloilo exudes an aura of majestic beauty and architecture reminiscent of the Gothic architecture of Medieval Europe. Many are one in saying that it is one of the most visually appealing of all the churches in the Philippines.
The early history of the Molo Church was marked by constant renovation; as with most of the early churches in the Philippines, this was built using nipa courtesy of Fr. Jose Ma. Sichon back in the early 1860s. In 1870 however it was decided that the church needed to be reconstructed, and it was then that the Gothic and Romanesque elements were added.
Sometime during 1896, the site was visited by Jose Rizal, mainly to look at the Biblically inspired artwork (no longer present). It was also used as a haven for civilians during the Second World War; testament to the effects of the war are the bullet holes still present in some of its bells.
The first thing that will strike the visitor to the Molo Church are the imposing spires, which are a bright red in color. As impressive as the exterior, the interior is even more stunning. The trained eye will see that the artistry is a magnificent amalgamation of the Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. To the casual viewer, it is an awesome view, wherein the various shades of yellow, gold and shades of brown combine to create a resplendent area for prayer and devotion.
A tour of the Molo Church will reveal the glorious altars, fashioned in the Gothic manner, and adorned by elaborate works of art. Also prominently displayed are 16 images of female saintly figures including Saint Anne, the patroness to whom the shrine is dedicated.
The views of the Molo Church are compelling at any time of the day, but it is during the afternoon that the full beauty of the magnificent structure is unveiled. Standing outside the church you can see the soft glow of the rays of the sun as they cast down on the façade. The results are unique and fascinating displays of light and shade.
The Molo Church is in the District of Molo, specifically at M.H. Del Pilar St., and because it encompasses the whole southern part of Iloilo City, any public utility vehicle headed in that direction can take you there with ease. Being a landmark, you need not give the driver any special instructions; they will recognize it.
The Molo Church in Iloilo is a stunning piece of architecture, but more than that it is a testament to the unwavering belief of the people and how it has become such an integral part of their life and culture.