Jaro, a City Within a City


Have you ever imagined a city that is also located within a city? You heard it right! Jaro is a former separate city of the province which is now part of the six districts of Iloilo City. The town is just one ride away from Lacson Street in Iloilo City proper. I went to the historic town late afternoon of my second day in Iloilo.

Lizares Mansion in Angelicum School of Iloilo.

Visiting Jaro Cathedral, Parish of Our Lady of Candles, was part of my church hopping in Iloilo. It was the only church I saw having a stair in its façade over its main entrance. Jaro Belfry can be found across the road and one of the belfries in the Philippines which is detached and distant from the main church (like the one in Laoag, St. William Cathedral). The belfry was ruined during the 1948 earthquake.

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.
Jaro belfry.

Graciano Lopez Jaena, a famous Filipino journalist, orator and national hero behind La Solidaridad was also from Jaro, Iloilo. The town’s plaza, surrounded by the cathedral, belfry, and some old mansions, was named after him and now serves as the center of recreation for the people of Jaro. A monument was also located at the center of the park to commemorate the greatness of Jaena.

Graciano Lopez Jaena’s monument.

Near his monument is the Panay War Memorial erected in honor of the veterans of the sixth military district.

Panay War Memorial.

Before going to Angelicum School of Iloilo to visit Lizares Mansion, I dropped by at Ted’s Lapaz Batchoy near the plaza to try the authentic noodle soup of the Ilonggos. Since I just had late lunch at Iloilo City, I only ordered the smallest bowl of batchoy having 2 puto (rice cakes) and a drink. It was my first time to try the batchoy (cup noodles not included) and I think it is comparable to a beef mami which is common in other parts of the country.

Authentic batchoy of Iloilo.

After my batchoy experience, I took a jeepney ride to Lizares Mansion. Ride a jeep with Jaro Liko signage for you to get to Angelicum School of Iloilo (ASIL). There’s no entrance fee being collected in ASIL, just approach the guards for you to register on their logbook.

Panoramic shot of Lizares Mansion.

The mansion is one of the historic landmarks of Iloilo located at the school grounds of Angelicum School of Iloilo. It was once a mansion of a sugar baron. During Christmas, the house transforms into a large Christmas decoration adorned with colorful Christmas lights. Stories said that the house was once a haunted house.

Nelly’s Garden was also a landmark in the locale but didn’t get the opportunity to drop by the place since it was already raining that time. My visit to Jaro, Iloilo ended my Iloilo town hopping activity.



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