After my Lapaz Batchoy lunch at the first Deco’s and ice coffee with pandesyosa at Madge Cafe, both located in La Paz Public Market, I was ready to do my Jaro Walk!,
First Stop: ST. CLEMENT’S CHURCH [Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish]. Unlike most churches in Iloilo, this is quite modern, all white, clean and very simple, inside and out. Completed in 1931 and managed by the Redemptorists or Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary Redeemer.
From the church I continued my walk heading to ABS-CBN where the LOPEZ BOATHOUSE MANSION and LOPEZ PINK CASTLE MANSION are located.You have the option to take the jeep going to Jaro and get down at ABS-CBN.
The Boathouse has a themed-architecture, modern-nautical inspired edifice with round port-hole windows and has a wide deck resembling that of a ship. The whole view is distracted by acacia trees, however, but you can see that it looks like a ship even when it’s popularly referred to as “boat” house. With its appearance, it didn’t seem to have been built in 1935 to me.
Immediately next to the Boathouse is the Lopez Pink Castle Mansion. It’s all pink from top to bottom including the fence. However, you cannot see more than what you can see from the road. The fence is high and the facade does not face the road. The gate seems interesting though. Next to the Pink House is another Lopez Mansion but I did not bother to take a look because it’s in the interior of the compound. I remember then in 2010, I was in a taxi and I asked the driver why the mansion is painted Pink and he said – “agi ang may ari” – but I don’t think so.
Second Stop: Not too far from the ABS-CBN Studios is the NELLY’S GARDEN, again, it belongs to the Lopez’s. It was built in 1928 by a Lopez patriach and named it after his eldest daughter, Nelly. The Mansion accepts tour bookings, check them out at Facebook. I asked the guard on duty if I can step in a bit from the gate but I was refused. I should have booked, I was informed. Here are some shots I took from the road. I took the pictures of the mansion from exactly the same vantage point when I was here in May 2010.
Next to Nelly’s Garden is the SANSON y MONTINOLA ANTILLAN Heritage House, built in early 1900’s. It’s not intricate. It’s not lavish. But it’s simply gorgeous! From the road, you can see its full glory and I can just imagine if this structure is restored! It would really be awesome!!! If there was one structure that lingers in my mind after my Jaro walk, it’s this house. I’m no archi-person but I like its charm and perceived nobility.
Third Stop: Continuing my walk, I passed by JALANDONI MANSION before reaching JARO CATHEDRAL. Built in 1928, the mansion now houses a life-size statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and regularly paraded in a procession of the Jaro Cathedral every February. Not too far is another LEDESMA MANSION [there's another one in downtown Iloilo] across the Jaro Plaza and close to Jaro Cathedral. It’s all concrete and appears not to have been restored of late [as of writing, May 2013].
After taking some pics of the Jaro Cathedral, I checked my map for the first BISCOCHO HOUSE and the CASA MARIQUIT. It was already [very high!] noon. Hence, I decided to take a pedicap and asked if manong pedikaber can take me to Biscocho House and Casa Mariquit. Agreed fee – P40, to and fro, with waiting time, not bad. Gave him few extra.
CASA MARIQUIT is near the Biscocho House although manong pedikaber was somehow lost at first. Casa Mariquit is another mansion that can be traced to the Lopez’s. It belongs to Fernando Lopez, Sr., and was named after her wife, Mariquit. Claimed to have been built some 200-years ago, it then makes it the oldest heritage house I’ve seen in Iloilo. It also served as a bank back then by the father of Fernando Lopez, Sr., the former vice-president of the Philippines, Ramon Javellana, who was a banker. The vault of the bank was located in the masters bedroom concealed by wooden floor planks.
Interesting is the servant’s quarter which looked fancy but charming – it’s like a birdhouse! Ayie, the caretaker was very nice to tour me around the mansion and charged P50 but I gave her a little extra.
Fourth Stop: Looking at the map and having been informed that the LIZARES MANSION [now Angelicum School] is quite far [although there are PUJ plying the route], I decided to take a cab, asked the driver to wait for a while then back to Jaro Plaza for P100, 2-way.
There goes my Jaro Walk! From Rizal Street in La Paz, I walked the remaining stretch of Luna Street, straight to Eugenio Lopez. It’s more than double my walk in downtown Iloilo but would never exchange it for anything even when there was an almost a fainting episode in the middle of my walk because of heat. Cold water and few minutes of rest were all I needed. Total walk hours – 4 [inclusive].
MY JARO WALK STOPS:
First Stop – St. Clement’s Church – Lopez Boathouse – Lopez Pink Mansion [along the way are ABS-CBN Studios, Western Visayas University, Jaro National High School/Iloilo High School]
Second Stop – Nelly’s Garden – Sanson Y Montinola Antillan House [along the way are Jalandoni Mansion and some old buildings]
Third Stop – Jaro Plaza – Jaro Cathedral – first Biscocho House – Casa Mariquit [Jalandoni Building, Evangelical Church and some other old buildings]
Fourth Stop – Lizares Mansion [Angelucum School]
READ MORE OF ILOILO THIS BLOG:
Iloilo City on Foot: A Solo Downtown Walk Tour [Iloilo Walk Tour Series]
OTHER WALK TOURS-THIS BLOG:
HERE IS A MAP OF MY STOPS [Click to enlarge. Click again to make it larger]: