San Joaquin Church (Iloilo)

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San Joaquin Church, located in San Joaquin, Iloilo, was built by the Augustinian Order in 1869. It is known as the only church in the country with a militaristic facade, incoporating the bas-relief mural Rendicion de Tetuan.



Overall, the facade's structure is very simple: a single level church with a broad pediment and a single tapering bell tower. Paired columns flank the main entrance, dividing the level into square segments, each magnified by the arched main portal and the saints' niches that flank it. The upper and lower sections of the church are divided by an architrave adorned with three saints' niches that line up with the features of the lower level. The first level is particularly bare of ornamentation except for rosettes that line the cornices and go around the edges of the niches, but the ochre tone of the weathered masonry gives the facade texture. The church's main attraction is the bas-relief mural that stretches across the pediment, depicting an historic battle between Spanish Christians and Moroccan Moors in Tetuan in 1859. The mosaic shows a spiral dynamism and an awareness of perspective with the figures larger in the foreground. The height of the pediment almost equals that of the lower levels, providing a vast canvas for the battle to unfold. Floral motifs fill the gaps in the mosaic, speaking of a Chinese influence.


San Joaquin is located 53.5 km. west of Iloilo City.


  • Galende, Pedro G. Philippine Church Facades. Quezon City:, 2007.
  • Layug, Benjamin L. A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches. Quezon City: New Day Publications, 2007.



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