The Miagao Church also known as the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church is a Roman catholic church located in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines. It was also called the Miagao Fortress Church since it served as defensive tower of the town against Muslim raids. The church was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993 together with San Agustin Church in Manila; Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; and San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines, a collection of four Baroque Spanish-era churches.
Miagao was formerly a visita of Oton until 1580, Tigbauan until 1592, San Joaquin until 1703 and Guimbal until 1731. It became an independent parish of the Augustinians in 1731 under the advocacy of Saint Thomas of Villanova.With the establishment of the parish, a church and convento was built in a land near the sea called Ubos. Father Fernando Camporredondo served as the town’s first parish priest in 1734. When the town experienced frequent Moro invasion in 1741 and 1754, the town moved to a more secure place. From there, a new church was constructed in 1787 through forced labor under the supervision of under Fray Francisco Gonzales, parish priest and Spanish gobernadorcillo Domingo Libo-on.
The church’s over-all architectural style falls under the Baroque Romanesque architectural style. Its ochre color is due to the materials used in constructing the church, adobe, egg, coral and limestone. The church’s foundation is 6 meters deep and the massive stone walls at 1.5 meters thick are intensified through the use of 4 meter thick flying buttresses as protection to the Moro invaders as stipulated under Royal Decree 111 of 1573 (Law of the Indies).
The Miagao Church is 30 to 45 minutes away from Iloilo City. Commuters can take a “Miagao” or any south-bound jeepney from Mohon Terminal in Molo District or from the Iloilo Terminal Market in Iloilo City Proper.
The article first appeared here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miagao_Church