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Augustinian Churches in 4th District of Iloilo


4TH DISTRICT OF ILOILO AUGUSTINIAN CHURCHES1. Saint Anthony of Padua Church (Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo)

TheSaint Anthony of Padua Church, also called asBarotac Nuevo Churchis located in the municipality ofBarotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines under theArchdiocese of Jaro. It was declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1998 under the leadership of Monsignor Jesus Enojo assisted by Congressman Narciso Montfort. The present church was completed in 1910 under the guidance of Father Mariano Conjugacion and played a significant role during the Spanish and Japanese occupations.HistoryBarotac Nuevo, which was then called Ginhawa-an, was civilized when the Spanish discovered and occupied it during the late 16th century. The Spanishconquistadorsbuilt abambooandnipachapel to initiate the evangelization of the locals in 1573. Trade within adjacent neighbours started after these developments and the economy started to flourish. When the soldiers fled from Ginhawa-an, the church was burned by the locals and they also killed the resident friar. This resulted the Spanish government to send an army to pacify them by burning their settlements and killing some of the natives including their leader Sugaob for revenge.Military reinforcements arrived in 1581 and with them was the parish priest ofDumangas, Father Juan de Peanosa which aimed to forcefully Christianize the natives, even to the point of murdering the people to participate within the program. A pathway connecting Dumangas and Ginhawa-an, which was built between 1589 and 1595 under Father Bartolome de Castillo was one of the developments of Ginhawa-an that made it a sitio of the recently proclaimedpueblo(or town) of Dumangas. The settlement changed its name to Barotac, during the time when volcanic residues covered almost the entire area and destroyed the agriculture. The name Barotac is from theSpanish word baro, which means mud, as well as the last syllables of tac and lutac. Nuevo was added to distinguish its name to the other Barotac within the island.Barotac was officially declared as parish in 1710 under the soon-to-be parish priest, Father Luis Gomez de Padilla.The 40-year reconstruction was finished in 1750 in theRomanesque style but it was short-lived because of the destruction brought about by the 1758 earthquake. A new church of coral stone and bricks and a convent were immediately constructed following the devastation and were both completed in 1802. In 1907, another fire destroyed the church which was led to believe that it was caused by arson.In 1910, a new church under the leadership of Father Mariano Conjugacion was built and it will survive until the present day. During theWorld War II, Colonel Macario Peralta Jr. ordered that the whole church and convent be burnt in order to render it useless as a Japanesegarrison. The fire did destroy the convent only which was then later occupied by the Japanese soldiers to be used as their stronghold for the remainder of the war. This lasted from 1942 to 1944. On June 13, 1944, during the first ever fiesta of the barrio, Juan Maquiling, a spy from the Filipino troops penetrated and annihilated all of the Japanese soldiers inside the church. Eventually the war ended, and the church was re-used not until 1947. A modern steel bell tower was added in 1966. Church Post-War Reconstructions and AdditionsThe Barotac Nuevo Church, also called St. Anthony of Padua Church was declared a National Historic Landmark through Msgr. Jesus Enojo and Congressman Narciso Montfort. It was through the declaration that the church received funds for a major reconstruction. The plan included the removal of the columns in the mainaisleof the church; installation of side posts to reinforce the supports of the main roof trusses; and installation of a new ceiling throughout and granite floor tiles. In 2002, a Church Building Commission under Monsignor Ramon Pet was organized and was tasked to construct a: new altar and a dome, newconvent, adoration chapel, new parish hall, quarters for the altar boys, boutique and main parking area, cemetery chapel and memorial park.The PlazaThe heritage church is beside afootballfield that is currently used as playground and practice grounds for children, adults and professionals. The town of Barotac Nuevo is called the "Football Capital of the Philippines." It used to be a Spanish plaza which is common in building Spanish church typology.

2. Saint John the Baptist Parish Church in Dingle

HistoryDingle started as a pre-colonial settlement of Sumandig, which was under the jurisdiction of Simsiman, a pueblo of Laglag.The settlement was also known as Sibucao, Ba-ong and Orvat. TheAugustinianpriest, Fr.Francisco Manuel Blanco, first founded Dingle as avisitaof Pototan in 1593. Dingle became independent on April 23, 1611. In 1629 however, it was annexed toDumangas, Iloiloand toDueas, Iloiloin 1641 (until 1825). On August 16, 1850, by order ofGovernor General of the Philippines Antonio de Urbiztondo, Dingle again became independent and was officially named the town of Dingle. The first town head was Julio Dator (1823-1827). In 1865, Fr. Fernando Llorente ordered the construction of the Dingle Catholic Church which was completed in 1886.TheParish Church of Saint John the Baptist(Filipino:Simbahang Parokyal ni San Juan Bautista), commonly known as theDingle Church, is aRoman Catholicparish churchlocated at the municipality ofDingle, Iloiloin thePhilippines. Finished in 1886, the church stands as one of the fine examples ofBaroquearchitecture exuding the style of Neoclassical extravagance.Construction

Aisle of the Dingle church.An Augustinian priest named Fr. Francisco Manuel Blanco founded Dingle, which was pre-colonial settlement in Simsiman, as a visita of Pototan in 1593. By August 16, 1850, Dingle has regained its long-term independence and was officially named a town by the order of Governor General Antonio de Urbiztondo. To solidify its ecclesiastical prominence, Fr. Fernando Llorente ordered the construction of the Church which began at 1865 and was completed a year later.Like churches in Eastern Iloilo, the Church is built out of limestone quarried from nearby mountains. In the case of the Dingle Church, the stones that set its foundation came from the mountains ofBulabog Putian National Park, a network of caves and tunnels which eventually historically served as a hide-out of Visayan revolutionaries of theKatipunan.The Dingle Church is a classic example of Baroque architecture, characterized by its broad facade, simplistic niche and its sturdy, triangular-shaped pediment. Though it lacks the opulent lavishness of most churches, it is infused with the Neoclassical elaborate style of voluteshaping the upper facade. Unlike the baroque churches of Ilocos, the pediment of Dingle Church is attached to the church itself but is heavily fortified by pilasters and multi-faceted columns.Baked bricks in the colour of cream lined up its interiors. Supporting the ornately carved ceiling is a line of slender Ionic columns standing across the room. The altar where the statue of St. John the Baptist stands is supported by stonework of columns rose in a marble dais.

3. St. William The Hermit Parish Church Convent

The town of Passi was established in 1584, and it is now Iloilos sugar and pineapple capital. Two of the provinces largest pineapple and sugar plantations as well as sugar refining plants are located here.The present Church of St. William was built by Friar Apolinario Villaneuva, the towns then parish priest between 1821 and 1837.This is considered a militaristic church in that it was planned as a fortress church and the proof of this can be seen in the massive buttresses which support the front and back walls of the church. The church was built to replace churches that had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1612 and subsequent churches that had been destroyed by fires.The photo below shows the buttresses on the east side of the St William church in the Garden of the Saints.

In 1856 Friar Pedro Ceberio restored St William Church after it hadfallen into disrepair and what we see today is the result of his work.As is usual withchurches of this vintage we can immediately discern that it was built, once again, by the Augustinians since their seal appears in the archway over one of the side entrances. It is said that the historical record is vague on the topic of entrances that indicates that historians are not certain as to where the actual main entrance was placed by the original builders. It appears that it may well have been this doorway on the southeast corner of the church at the entrance of the Garden of Saints.

All was well with the church through the Revolution and the Philippines American War but in 1932 the roof was blown away by a typhoon.St WilliamChurch is surrounded by a Garden of the Saints which contains 25 to 30 statues of Saints that have been placed in the garden by parishioners over the years. Some examples of the Saintly Statues are shown below.

When one enters St William Church you are struck by how simple and bright it is as shown in the photos below looking towards the sanctuary at the front of the church or towards the rear of the church. The effect is due to the brilliance of the pure white marble floor blending in with the pure white ceiling and walls

Every one of the side windows, twelve in all, is filled with stained glass renderings of each of the twelve apostlesexamples are show below.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the entire church is the sanctuary, which when is light up is both dramatically breathtaking and simply beautiful, note the before and after pictures below

Church of St William the Hermit, Passi CitySt. William the Hermit, who was never personally associated with the Augustinians, and who died, in fact, 100 years before the Grand Union, was born in France.He became a penitent pi