21/365: When In Iloilo: The Molo Church

“Oh wow!  We have this in the Philippines?” 

That was my first reaction when I see this magnificent Gothic structure of the Molo Church – one of the most familiar landmark and tourist attractions in Iloilo City.


I was so in awe with the front façade of the church that it took me a while to enter the  church to find a seat so I can celebrate the mass.  I have a mixed feeling of regret and blessed at the same time for the decision to go there on a Sunday morning to attend the mass or I should have visited on another day so I could have explored the wholeness of the church and took more photos from the inner structure.

Since the mass is not starting yet when we arrived, what I did is to stay longer by the (old) plaza fronting the church and feed my eyes with the beauty of this magnificent structure.




(I had a “nose bleeding” while doing this translation)

The Church of Molo
The structure was first built using tabique pampango - a popular construction technique in the Philippins during that time. The roof is made of chalk material (tisa) . Father Jose Maria Sichon temporarily replaced the church using palm (nipa) materials (1863). In 1866 a new church plan was proposed using rock materials and was approved by Bishop Mariano Cuartero (first bishop of Jaro Iloilo City). The result is this magnificent structure with Gothic-Rennaissance architecture. The church is dedicated to St. Anne and became known as the "Feminist Church because of the 16 female saints images . In 1896 Dr. Jose Rizal passed by the church to view its collection of biblical paintings. It served as an evacuation center during the World War II. It was slightly damaged during the Liberation period. After Liberartion Rep. P. Manuel Alba initiated the reconstruction with the help of the church supporters.

Here are the other information that I gathered when I researched about this church.  (Credits to all sources from the web).

The church is also known as St. Anne Parish.  It is dedicated to St. Anne the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It has larger than life images of female saints lined in two rows (eight on each side) inside the church, each standing on a pedestal attached to a massive stone pillar and under the Gothic style canopy.


Thus it is also known as the “Women’s Church” or “The Feminist Church”.  The female saints are: Sta. Apolonia, Sta. Cecila, Sta. Clara, Sta. Felicia, Sta. Genoveva, Sta. Ines, Sta. Isabel, Sta. Juliana, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Marcela, Sta. Margarita, Sta. Maria Magdalena, Sta. Marta, Sta. Monica, Sta. Rosa de Lima, and Sta. Teresa.


After  the mass we had a quick roaming around the church vicinity before hurrying back home.  We could not stay longer because there’s still a planned day-out on that Sunday with relatives and friends.





I remember that the magnificent plaza was still under construction during our visit thus I haven’t seen the grandeur of it yet.  This makes another reason for me to go back to Molo Church, plus exploring more the inner structure, plus the bibingka of course :)

So expect a second post about the Church of Molo in the future!


  1. yan ung trip ni kuya church hopping ee, and for sure isa yan sa list nya

  2. I do visit churches whenever possible as well as public markets wherever I go. If there are art galleries and art markets, I will be there as well. Churches are landmarks and speaks of religious values in the lives of people.

  3. ganda ng church, wow nga!

    24 na, a few more minutes at 25 na, may utang ka nang 4 posts. hehe... ;)

    1. Ha ha ha may isa pa palang nagbabantay dito sa utang ko ha ha ha THANKS!

      May nakahandang posts don't worry - nag-iinarte lang ako sa pagpo-post ha ha. Thanks sa dalaw :)

  4. ang taray ng church... sa ganda, feeling ko, pag ako nag-mass jan, mas madaling mapapatawad ang mga sins ko... hehehe

  5. I do "Visita Eglesia" in Pinas, so pag nandiyan ako sa Ilo-ilo tiyak na di lang siyam na churches ang mabibisita ko hahaha. Gandang puntahan lang ang mga churches na naitayo nung panahon ng pananakop ng mga Spaniards.


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