|photo by Norman Posecion (USA-CAP)|
STA. BARBARA CHURCH AND CONVENT is of Filipino-Baroque architecture and was constructed in 1845 and finished in 1886. The huge stones that were used as post, walls and floors of the church and convent were made of adobe, coral stone and red bricks. It is said that the slabs of rocks used were transported from the mountains of Leon, Alimodian and Tubungan. The convent is a big and long two-storey building where its ground floor is of piedra silleria and bricks. The church is where local hero, Gen Martin Delgado convened the junta that raised the first of cry revolution against Spain in Iloilo and convent served as the headquarters for the Ilonggo Revolutionary Forces under the General. It was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1990.
You may not automatically think of golf when you think of the town, but you should. The ILOILO GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, INC. in Barangay San Sebastian is considered as the oldest existing golf course in the Philippines, built in 1907. It started as a 9-hole golf course carved from the towns’ 35-hectare rolling hills. It was then called as the Sta. Barbara Golf and Country Club. The course was created by Scottish Engineers of the Philippine Railway Company in 1907. At that time, the club was exclusively for British and Americans. It was in 1920 when Filipino members were accepted. The old clubhouse was destroyed by Japanese Forces in 1941. In 1947 was renamed to how it is called now and is a full challenging 18-hole golf course of 6,056 yardage and plays to a par-70. The golf course is a 10-minute ride away from the New Iloilo Airport. You may visit their official website at www.iloilogolfclub.com or call (033) 5239779 or telefax at 63-33-5239777.
The SANTA BARBARA CENTENNIAL MUSEUM houses the town’s proud historical heritage with interesting antique artifacts, photos and personal belongings of local hero, Gen. Martin Delgado. It was constructed in 1998 as part of the Centennial Freedom Trail Site Project of the Philippine Centennial Commission. It also serves as the Tourist Information Center of the town. It is situated beside the municipal hall fronting the church and convent.
The beautifully landscaped VICTORY PLAZA AND MUNICIPAL BANDSTAND is another not-to-be-missed destination when in town. Built in 1925, the historic bandstand is of circular structure and has served as a stage for band and musicians, political rallies, religious programs as well as cultural shows and contests since the American Period.