Jumping Off to Jaro
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When I first came there, my cousins, Eugene, Minerva and Leah, readily took me to Jaro, one of Iloilo City's six districts, where some prominent structures of the past can be found. Along the way, we passed by La Paz market where they treated me to a delectable bowl of authentic batchoy, a variety of Chinese noodles topped with chopped meat and entrails, chicharon (fried pork rinds), toasted garlic and spring onions.
After eating, we proceeded to our destination: the century-old Jaro Cathedral. Built in 1864, the Gothic-inspired church is located about 5 km northwest of the city proper. Its red-brick belfry, which stands inside the Jaro Plaza, is among the few religious structures in the country that were constructed separately from the main church.
Aside from this, the thriving district is also noted for the mystique of the elite's Hispano-Filipino mansions as well as the colonial houses of sugar barons that still stand today. While I was there, I took the chance to see some of these once stately homes, particularly those owned by the Lizareses and the Jalandonis.
Jaro is also the hometown of the great orator and journalist, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, who founded La Solidaridad while he was in Barcelona, Spain. Known as the organ of the Propaganda Movement, the fortnightly newspaper vividly depicted the deplorable conditions during the Spanish rule in the Philippines.
How's that for a deliciously historic date with Ilonggo history?
Where I stayed