|photo by Norman Posecion (USA-CAP)|
The Neo-Classical style structure of SAN NICOLAS DE TOLENTINO PARISH popularly known as Cabatuan Church was constructed in 1732. Each side of the church is a facade in itself with walls overlaid in red bricks. The central structure was in a shape of a cross about 50 meters long and 20 meters wide with walls about a meter and a half thick. The main altar was flanked by two minor altars. It was described as the “Model of Temples” by El Eco de Panay because it is one of the best representations of European Architecture in the Philippines. It was built with six belfries and three facades with a complex design structure associated with majestic European Basilicas. It was included in an international guidebook in the 1900s. However, it lost four belfries, the central dome and the pediments of the eastern and western facades in the 1948 earthquake that left it partially damaged.
The perfect square CABATUAN CEMETERY was constructed in 1886. It is said to be the most planned and well-organized in terms niches in the entire province of Iloilo. Its walls and chapel were made of selected stones hauled from the mountains of Leon. The cemetery is dominated by three byzantine arch entrances and a baroque central chapel is located at the center. The chapel is a fusion of roman, gothic, byzantine, and baroque architectures where its complex carvings is considered to be the most distinct cemetery relief which can only be found there. It was heavily damaged in the 1948 earthquake and was later reconstructed to its original form.
TINUOM FESTIVAL celebrated annually every September is a way of showcasing its culture, and it will give people a chance to see how Tinuom, its One wn One Product is done. The festival dance style is usually depicted in dress by the prevalent use of chicken feathers in the regalia. Dancers use feather bustles worn on the upper back, and creative ornamentation but stylized. Many dancers use vibrant colors to highlight their costumes. The moves highlight movements reminiscent of chicken. The festival is the highlight of the municipal fiesta celebration where competing tribes composed of students from secondary schools in the town compete for the grand prize.