Molo Church in Iloilo is known among other things, as the neo-gothic church built by the Seculars. But for many, consider it the so called feminist church because of the sculpted all female saints that adorn each column of the nave, above a high pedestal.
When I did dropped by, together with my friends Eugene Jamerlan and Marie Joy Sumagaysay, we found that the pantheon of female saints were brought down from their pedestals and are currently undergoing repairs and restoration works courtesy of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines headed by Rommel Aquino, Senior Conservator.
The restoration works started last year when Mr. Aquino’s group were able to get funding and materials in the form of mineral and archival pigments from Spain that were supposed to be used for the restoration of the Dans murals in Paete. While that project didn’t push through, Mr. Aquino found use with the restoration in Molo.
The NHCP group found that of the total 12 sculptures, ten are original and two were later added and placed in the posts near the main portal. The details, most of which aren’t seen from below, are quite interesting. One saint has a series of coat of arms painted at the edge of her flowing robe. The lyre of another has interesting straitions, and many more.
These wooden saints had undergone a previous restoration work but it was more of doing a repaint job that covered most of the original details that are now coming out. The project is seen to be finished by the middle of May this year. The group’s restoration work can be found at the basement of the present kumbento and Mr. Aquino would be happy to orient or discuss with guests their work.
Do visit them.