Designated as a historical landmark and a national shrine, Jaro Cathedral has been flocked by the devout for more than a century and has been a source of pride and devotion by the people of Iloilo.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles, informally known as the Jaro Cathedral, is the cathedral seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jaro. It is located in the district of Jaro in Iloilo City, in the province of Iloilo, on the island of Panay, in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is known as the shrine of Our Lady of the Candles under the original patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
The shrine is constructed of Romanesque revival architecture. The bell tower unusually is located across a busy street on the Jaro Plaza. Such construction arrangement is rare in the Philippines. Usually the churches and their belfries are built adjacent to each other, or at least they are located on the same plot of land. This is a remnant of an older building that collapsed during an earthquake.
The original cathedral was built in 1874 by the first bishop of Jaro, Mariano Cuartero, O.P. It was destroyed by an earthquake in January 1948 and later repaired in 1956 by the first Archbishop of Jaro, Jose Maria Cuenco. The current parish rector is Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, Divinitatis Doctor.
Surrounding the cathedral and sharing the same general location is a variety of archdiocesan and parish offices. There is also a perpetual adoration chapel. About a block away is the archdiocesan seminary and across the plaza is the archbishop's palace.
In January 2012, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines approved the cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles.
- The Filipino orator, journalist and historian, Graciano López Jaena was baptized in the Cathedral on December 20, 1856.
- The National Historical Institute of the Philippines proclaimed the Jaro Cathedral as a historical landmark in 1976.
Here is a list of some of the hotels that can be found in the province should one stay for some time to visit the many attractions of Iloilo:
- Hotel Del Rio
Location: M.H. Del Pilar St., City Proper, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines 5000
- Harbor Town Hotel
Location: Corner JM Basa - Aldeguer Streets, City Proper, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines
- Iloilo Midtown Hotel
Location: Corner Yulo - Iznart Streets, City Proper, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines 5000
- Days Hotel Iloilo
Location: The Atrium at the Capitol, Cor Gen. Luna- Bonifacio Dr, City Proper, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines 5000
- Circle Inn - Iloilo City Center
Location: Iznart Street, Maria Clara, City Proper, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines
- Iloilo Business Hotel
Location: Benigno Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo / Guimaras, Philippines 5000
Iloilo Province is located in Western Visayas and can be reached by plane, bus, ferry or roro (roll-on-roll-off) from Manila.
There are direct flights to Iloilo Intenational Airport and take around 50 minutes from Manila. Once there, one can ride a shuttle van or taxi going to Iloilo City.
List of airlines that have daily trips to Manila to Iloilo:
- Cebu Pacific
- Air Philippines
- Philippine Airlines
- Zest Air
From Manila Ports, the travel time going to Iloilo Domestic Port, located along General Hughes St., is about 20 hours.
There are buses from Manila that have trips to Iloilo City. The bus uses the roro (roll-on-roll-off) services going to Iloilo. The bus terminals in Cubao and Pasay have buses with trips going to Iloilo.
When touring the province, taxis and jeepneys are available as a mode of transportation around the province.