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Around 1607, Jesuits built the first church in Iloilo City to serve the military based in then-called “Punta.” On that site now stands Iglesia de San José de Placer, an Augustinian church that houses two important treasures of Ilonggo culture and history. The image of Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Spanish for “Our Lady of the Rosary”) resides in San Jose Church, gracing the lives of rosary advocates. Historians proclaim that Diego Quinones, the commander-in-chief of the Visayas during the Dutch invasion, found the icon of Our Lady with the infant Jesus in a box he chanced upon after falling into a hole. The image was then paraded at a procession towards Fort San Pedro (Iloilo’s defense frontier), leading to the establishment of a confraternity devoted to the Virgin Mary. The Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo City’s annual religious and cultural festival, takes its roots from the arrival of a replica of the image of Santo Niño de Cebu (Spanish for “Child Jesus of Cebu”) in 1968 which was celebrated through street dancing. Now, the statue finds home in the right wing of Iglesia de San José de Placer, open for viewing and adoration.
5000 Calasanz Street, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines
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