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Church of St. Anne in Molo Iloilo

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When I was a kid my Grandma used to drag me kicking and screaming to church. She wanted me to grow up as a devout man. I’m glad to say, that happened, but she must be smiling down from heaven now as I still visit church after church on my travels through the Philippines.

old churches in iloilo
Church of St. Anne

The Molo Church, more formally called the Church of St. Anne is another example of the beautiful coral churches of Iloilo. The Church of St. Anne is a little different from the others though in that it carries some influences of the regional populations that exist around it, about an hour outside of Iloilo City.


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molo heritage site
Catholic Church in Molo

The Molo Church sits on the banks of the Panay River. The word Molo comes from the Spanish Moro (which led to the term Moors, describing Moroccans in general) and it refers to those who practice the Muslim Faith. The Molos of this region used to attack coastal Panay and take slaves. They also made some great soup (Molo Soup), but they didn’t use the slaves in the soup like some other indigenous groups did LOL.

molo church altar
The Altar

It’s for this reason that the Molo Church looks more like a fortress than a church with it’s massive Gothic architecture and distinctive red towers. Even the inside of the church carries this Renaissance feel in the altar and the pulpit both. That being said, this isn’t a masculine church at all.


The Beautiful Church in Molo Iloilo

In fact it has sixteen statues of female saints and is named after St. Anne, who is considered to be Jesus’ grandma and the Virgin Mary’s mom. She must have been one proud parent and grandparent.

The Church of St. Anne continued it’s fortress like existence during World War II when it was used as a defensive position against the attacking Japanese. It’s a pretty peaceful place today and well worth taking a jeepney to and having a wander around.

My Grandma would sure be proud to know that I’m spending so much time in churches, but if the one’s she used to drag me to had been even half as interesting, I’m sure I would have spent more time in them.

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