The militaristic motif church was constructed in 1859 under the supervision of the Spanish priest Tomas Santaren, together with Spanish and Mexican artists.
This greyish-white church was made with coral stone or limestone and egg whites and a product of the sweat and blood of the natives who were employed forced labor by the Spaniards. It stood the test of time. The church became a fort when Moro raiders invade the Southern Panay coast. It also served as a evacuation centre during the Japanese occupation. In 1943, the church was ordered to be burn and the rest of the town. A powerful earthquake toppled down the old belfry in 1948.
|Beautiful stone carvings on the facade of the church.|
The carvings immortalized the Rendicion d' Tetuan or the Battle of Tetuan. The relief features Spanish forces defeating the Moros which resulted Spanish victory. Horses, men with guns and a medieval city dominate the pediment. It is the only church in the Philippines that has a touch of militarism.
The national government declared the church a historical landmark in 1974. It is also listed as a National Cultural Treasure. The National Historical Institute payed all the expenses in the restoration and reconstruction of the church in 1982.
St. Joaquin's feast day is celebrated every August 16.
photo credit to Chingky Quijano
dated June 04, 2012
San Joaquin, Iloilo