After our visit in Miag-ao Church, we decided to go further to visit the far-flung town of San Joaquin primarily for its Grand Baroque Old Cemetery. San Joaquin was the last town in southeastern part of Iloilo Province. After it, you're already in the Province of Antique. Though you will have a long travel to reach this sleepy town, it has much to offer to its visitor whether by nature, food, festivities and tracing back its rich history. Basically, its church would tell the old days of the charming town.
So what makes San Joaquin Church different is its striking pediment which was adorned by a military relief depicting the success of Spanish Army of Africa over the Moroccan Army during the Battle of Tetuan in 1860. It is the only of its kind in the country that is why the National Historical Institute listed the church as one of National Cultural Treasure. Really, San Joaqueños treasure to be proud of and cared of for the coming generation.
This unique church was built between 1859 and 1869 when the settlement was founded in 1591. The construction started in 1859 and was totally completed in 1869 with the supervision of Friar Thomas Santaren who was the Parish priest of the town. The structure was composed of limestone quarried all the way from the mountainous town of Igbaras and partly made of corals gathered in the shore of nearby area.
San Joaquin is only among the manifestation and existing witness that behind the grandeur of our heritage structures lies the agony, hardship and struggles of our ancestors during the Spanish Colonial Period. And on the carved stones were the stories of blood, tears, sweat and beyond their craftsmanship.
San Joaquin town Hall
How to get there:
The town of San Joaquin is approximately 45 minutes away by car with no stops from the city. While about 1-1 1/2 hour if one has to ride on PUVs like buses and jeepneys. Ceres Bus were the bus lines operating.
Visitors can ride a San Joaquin Jeepney from Mohon Terminal or at Iloilo Market Terminal known as "Super". Fare would 65Php.