In front of Molo's plaza stands an architectural gem whose red spires tower over the Iloilo skyline. The spires, one of the symbols associated with Iloilo, are so distinctive you can even spot them from the nearby island of Guimaras on a clear day.
St. Anne Parish Church, or more popularly known as Molo Church, was built in 1831. Like most churches of its time, it was built using the most readily available building material around: coral rocks and limestone. The church's facade features Gothic and Romanesque elements and its the only Gothic church outside of Manila.
After our visit to Miagao church, we decided to wait for the sunset in Molo plaza. It was a perfect place to lounge around and wait for the church to open its doors for the evening mass.
I went in as soon as the doors were opened. Marveling at the richly decorated interior, it was easy to understand why this church has earned the moniker "The Feminist Church". Aside from the patron saint being a woman, the church's main aisle is lined by the statues of 16 women saints. Even the soft pastel hues of the church walls and ceiling seem to assert that moniker.
The altar features a intricate retablo with Gothic trimmings. At the time of our visit, interior were being cleaned for the Christmas season, hence the scaffolds on the altar and around some of the statues of the women saints. I would have love to take more photos of the interiors but the mass soon started.
We stayed around after the mass and was lucky to catch the moon above one of the spires. The tungsten lamps from across the plaza accentuated the features of the stone facade.
Another shot from the plaza sealed my impression that the church is one of Iloilo's most beautiful.
- The church has survived WWII with minimal damage. It was an evacuation center during that time. It was declared as a National Landmark in 1992.
- Dr. Jose Rizal, Philippine's national hero, made several visits to the church to view its biblical paintings. Sadly those paintings do not exist anymore.