Jaro Cathedral: Our Lady of Candles Parish Church, Iloilo

The Jaro Cathedral (Filipino: Ang Katedral ng Jaro) in Iloilo was built in 1874 under the management of KGG. Mariano Cuartero, O.P., the first bishop of Jaro. It was destroyed by an earthquake in January 1948. It was later repaired in 1956 by the order of KGG. Jose Ma. Cuenco, the first archbishop of Jaro.

On December 20, 1856, Graciano López Jaena (1856 – 1896), a Filipino journalist, orator, and revolutionary from Iloilo, well known for his written work, La Solidaridad, was baptized in this cathedral.

Now, the Jaro Cathedral is also known as the Nuestra Señora de la Cadelaria (Our Lady of Candles). Notably, Pope John Paul VI conducted a mass in 1982 and set a crown upon the Lady of the Candles, and declared it as the Western Visayas’ Patroness. The statue is carrying a child in her left hand and a lighted candle on the other. It is believed that the lady of candles brings protection and divine illumination to one’s path if the person asks for her help.

Jaro Cathedral

Jaro Cathedral

Fronting the Jaro Church is the belfry, situated in the Jaro Park. It is preserved by the government officials to give the present, new and coming generations a glimpse of the past. This bell tower historically served as a lookout from sea raiders.

Belfry or Bell Tower of Jaro Cathedral

Belfry or Bell Tower of Jaro Cathedral

Every February 2, the centuries-old image of the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is the main focus of annual Jaro Fiesta. The image is placed in the façade of the church and one can reach the niche through a staircase about 32 steps in each side. Before entering the Jaro Cathedral, a monument of Jesus Christ and a monument of Mother Mary, both inaugurated in February 1925 can be seen. The exterior’s thick and sturdy walls probably made from lime stones and the solid pillars inside the church makes the church tough and strong against several earthquakes and typhoons.

An image of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei and “The Saint of Ordinary Life” can be seen inside the church. Statues of different saints placed in the pillars and the centuries-old chandeliers are some of the features of the church’s interiors.

In 1976, the National Historical Institute proclaimed the Jaro Cathedral as a historical landmark.

Ang Katedral ng Jaro

Ang Katedral ng Jaro

Mass Schedule of Jaro Cathedral

Mondays to Saturdays
5:30pm (anticipated mass every Saturday)


5:00am (Ilonggo)
6:30am (English)
8:00am (Ilonggo)
9:30am (English)
12:00pm (English)
3:00pm (English)
4:30pm (Ilonggo)
6:00pm (Ilonggo)
7:30pm (English)

Confession: 6:30am (Daily), 4:30pm (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Baptism: 11:00am (Saturday and Sunday)
Pre-Baptismal Seminar: 8:30am to 10:30am (Saturday and Sunday)
Confirmation: 8:00am (First and third Thursday of the month)
Weddings: By appointment except Sundays
Common Wedding: 8:00am (Thursday)
Funeral: By appointment except Sundays
Common Funeral: 2:00pm (Tuesday)

Contact information

For more information about Jaro Church and appointment of other church services such as sick call, funeral mass in the Barangay, blessing and counseling, please call telephone numbers (+63)(33)329-1625 and (+63)(33)329-3456.

How to get there

Jaro Cathedral is about 18 kilometers south of Iloilo International Airport. From the airport, take the v-hire (van for hire) with SM Supermarket/Jaro-SM City Route with fares usually from P50. Vans usually stop at Jolibee beside SM Supermarket (one of the many SM Malls in Iloilo) and the belfry is very much visible from that point.

From the city center, take a Jaro CPU or Jaro Liko route jeepney with fare usually from P7. Just don’t forget to tell the driver to drop you in front of the church or to the nearest point and take a short walk.

Entrance door of Our Lady of Candles

Entrance door of Our Lady of Candles

Interior of Jaro Church

Interior of Jaro Church

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Mother Mary

Mother Mary

Staircase going to the Statue of the lady of Candles

Staircase going to the Statue of the lady of Candles

Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria

Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria

Rosaries, Candles, etc for sale

Rosaries, Candles, etc for sale

Holy Water Container

Holy Water Container

Confradia Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria

Confradia Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria

This page is last updated on Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:33 pm
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Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

  1. Diane says:

    Hi! Where and How can I get a copy of my baptismal certificate for marriage purposes. We stay in Canada and we’re planning to get married this year. how long it will take to get this.Hope to hear from you very soon. Thanks and God bless!

  2. raissa tobles says:

    Hi Mark, Do you happen to have a photo of the font where parishioners dip their fingers for the holy water to make a sign of the cross with when they enter the church?

    Do you slso recall how big the font was? Could it hold a newborn baby and you wouldnt see the baby unless you looked?

    Thanks, Rsissa

  3. Jacquelyn Ortiz says:

    Dear Ma’am/Sir,

    I would like to ask if a can get a copy of my Certificate of confirmation for marriage purposes.
    I am getting married this May here in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I dont have any relatives
    in Iloilo, if possible that i can get my copy thru mail or a courier. My name is Jacquelyn Ortiz and I was confirmed last December 18, 1997.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thanks and Warm Regards!

  4. gie ignacio says:

    i need a copy of baptismal of my mother in law was born in jaro ilo ilo

  5. Noel JP says:

    Hi Sir Mark!

    Please correct the info regarding the coronation of Our Lady of the Candles as Patroness of Western Visayas. It was Pope (now Blessed) John Paul II who crowned the Lady in February 1981… Pope Paul VI died in 1978.

  6. here says:

    Hey, Viva la Virgen Maria de Candelaria…ka tahum gid sang aton katedral. Nahidlaw na ko magkadto da ba!

  7. mark daren villanueva says:

    is there a tridentine mass that is held at jaro cathedral?if there is, may i know the schedule?tnx :)

  8. Benjamin A Calvo, Jr says:

    I am in Florida, U.S but was born in Quezon St., Iloilo City, Philippines
    we would like to know if records are still existing since year 1867;
    My Grandfather Tomas Calvo m to Alejandra Jardiolin sons
    Felimon m to Gertrudes sons Mons. Ernesto Calvo, former PP of Oton
    Benjamin my father former Prof of Univ. of San Agustin, Tomas was also the grandfather of Natividad Golez Arguelles, we wonder where he came from

  9. Nannette Dagohoy says:

    My name is Nannette R. Dagohoy and I’m from Dallas, Tx. I was born in Iloilo City and I’m engaged to be married and I need the address of Our Lady of Candles Parish Church because I might have been baptized here.

    I need to get a copy of my baptismal certificate for the church here Divine Mercy of Our
    Lord in Mesquite,TX.

    Salamat Po for your help.

    Nannette Dagohoy

  10. Marivic retiro says:

    my name is Marivic Retiro. I’m planning to get my confirmation there next month. Is there a requirement? Thank you.

  11. Darwin de la Cruz says:

    Viva la Virgen Maria de Candelaria…ka tahum gid sang aton katedral. Nahidlaw na ko magkadto da ba…

  12. madamo gid nga salamat nagamit ko gid ni sa akon project dad maka kontak ako sa sinbahan.. para maka kuha pagid sang mga impormasyon.. salamat gid..

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