Jaro Cathedral, formally Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is located in the district of Jaro, in Iloilo City.
This Cathedral is declared to be the second National Shrine in Visayas, the first was Cebu’s Basilica del Santo Niño. It was built in 1864 but was destroyed by the earthquake in 1948 that hit the city.
The Jaro Cathedral was declared a historical landmark by the National Historical Institute of the Philippines in 1976. All while it was 2012 when it became the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles as approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
The shrine has an iconic structure; something that deviates from the norm with its Romanesque Revival style, staying away from the semi-circular arches commonly used in churches. What makes this church special is that it is the first and only Cathedral in Panay Island.
The belfry tower stands apart from the church and can be seen outside the cathedral, just outside the Jaro, Plaza. Want to know how to get to the church? Just ride a Jaro Liko or Jaro CPU jeepney and request to be dropped off at Jaro Plaza or in front of the cathedral.