A little piece of heaven where the mountains meet the sea

A little piece of heaven where the mountains meet the sea

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Everyone knows that Iloilo, Philippines is the city of love and tucked away into its warm folds is the small town of Miagao, a little piece of heaven where the mountains meet the sea.
Miagao is located in the western Visayas , approximately 40 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City. One of the many municipalities in Iloilo with roughly divided into 119 barangays (villages). This small town is home to approximately 64,545 people and a number of Philippine’s most iconic places, culture and traditions.

Iconic Places

One of which is the church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva or most commonly known as the Miagao church is one of United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Built in the 1786 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries, this church that is mostly made of limestone is still standing. It is a Baroque-Romanesque style church, a huge church flanked with two towered belfries. These towered belfries are also built to help defend the town against muslim invaders in the late 17th century.

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This stronghold is a living legacy of Miagao’s history, culture and traditions. Its famous façade is carved with Spanish and native imagery, two components that has greatly influenced Miagao’s way of life. One of the images is a coconut tree which is considered as the tree of life by Filipinos and the town’s patron saint, St. Thomas of Villanueva carved life-size. Inside the church is even more magnificent than its façade filled with elegant chandeliers and statues of Christian saints.
Another place worth visiting is The University of the Philippines Visayas. University of the Philippines (UP) after all is the premier school of the country and has one of the most beautiful campuses.

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University of the Philippines Visayas is the biggest among all UP campuses spread across the country. It is a big school filled with beautiful spots and surrounded with flora and vegetation. Not to mention that it is home for its famous statues The Oblation and The Diwata ng Dagat (the Water Numph).

It is truly a hub for learning especially with its flagship course, Bachelor of Science andFisheries with its latest equipments and a campus conveniently in front of the beach. Other colleges include the college of arts and science and the school of technology.
Being generally circled by nature, University of the Philippines Visayas is a great spot for wild life photography especially if you are into birding. The campus is filled with wide range of species of exotic birds.

Aside from these must see iconic places, Miagao is surrounded with beautiful beaches and great hiking grounds quite untarnished by commercialization.

Colorful Traditions

Miagao is also known from preserving the old culture and traditions.
In fact, Miagao has preserved and has established an industry around hand weaving. They have weaving centers in almost every barangay (villages) just to keep this proud tradition alive.
One of its most unique products is the Hablon, a hand woven fabric made from abaca and silk materials
It is relatively easy to learn the art of weaving and the people of Miagao are always willing to teach those who asks.

Another is its Salakayan festival celebrated every third week of February. The town festival is the celebration of the town’s victory against invaders. It showcases the towns product, its native dances and is highlighted by a dance depiction of their fight and victory against invader.

So what are you waiting for?

Miagao is one of the rare places where you can get in touch with the olden days and learn about great cultures of the past. It is also a beautiful place to relax and go site seeing.
So what are you waiting for? Come and visit Miagao!

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Lovers Lane in the University of the Philippines Visayas

/// Written by Bertrand Joseph Roldan, The Philippines