” The Molo exudes a blatant expression of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, the one of its kind outside Manila. The interior is a fusion of Gothic and Romanesque architectures, there is a constant alternation between the overpowering features of Gothic and the recessive characteristics of Romanesque.” – Explore Iloilo
One sunny morning after my exciting road trip to San Joaquin, I took a jeep to Molo to visit the “feminist church”, the Church of Saint Anne. This is the nearest church with significant historical value other than the cathedral in Jaro. It was a quick trip before checking out and leaving Iloilo with so much more to see.
In honor of Saint Anne, the church was known to be a feminist church because of the two rows of sixteen female saints lined on both sides of the altar. These saints are Sta. Marcela, Apolonia, Genoveva, Isabel, Felicia, Ines, Monica, Magdalena, Juliana, Lucia, Rosa de Lima, Teresa, Clara, Cecilia, Margarita and Marta.
|Sixteen female saints, one on each pillar|
The Church’s interior is simple. It is not as ornate compared to some other house of worships I’ve been to.
|A statue of the church’s patroness, St. Ana, is housed in the retablo, along with statues of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Trinity.|
Murals and other paintings adorn the walls and ceiling of the church. Mariano Mabunay and Jesue Huervas were commissioned to paint the murals in the church’s interior, which depict the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.
|Underneath the Church’s dome ceiling.|
|The baptismal chamber|
When I arrived, there were a number of people gathering in and out of the church. I thought there was a mass so I hesitated because I might be disturbing the celebration. Later, I realized that the people were waiting for the baptismal ceremony to commence.
|One of the two beautifully crafted pulpits.|
The parish priest usually delivers the gospel in a pulpit where he can see the entire church and all its attendees. I can only see these structures in old churches these days. The modern church structure no longer replicate this traditional spot. The pulpits (there is one on each side) in St. Anne is beautifully preserved.
Typically, the church should have a plaza or a park and I find the one outside the church of St. Anne relaxing. It is cool underneath the shade of large trees and the presence of well maintained vegetation.
Before I get to disturb the upcoming ceremony, I made a silent prayer for my safe flight back to Manila and an opportunity to go back and explore the rich culture in Iloilo.