Tigbauan, my beloved hometown, is a municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. It is located 23 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City.
It acquired its name, like the majority of town centers, after a topographical distinction unique to the region – in this case after the Tigbao, a local name for a type of grass that used to swarm the countryside.
Tigbauan, a coastal town, was one of the landing sites for American Forces led by General Douglas MacArthur in March 1945 for liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese in World War II.
About Tigbauan Church
The ADMU website has a comprehensive article about San Juan de Sahagun church in Tigbauan.
San Juan Sahagun Parish
An ecomienda given to Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, Tigbauan became a visita of Oton on 3 March 1575. Although it had become an independent parish in 1578, no permanent priest was assigned to Tigbauan until 1580, when Fr. Luis de Montoya was assigned as prior. Originally under the advocacy of Our Lady of Grace it was later renamed Juan de Sahagun, after an Augustinian saint. In 1593, the parish was handed over to the secular clergy because the friar, Fr. Garcia de Quiroga, was appointed secretary of the province and had to leave the Visayas. The seculars held the parish until 1617 when they were assigned to Antique (Hamtic) in exchange for Tigbauan. Fr. Fernando Camporredondo may have built the Tigbauan church described in a report of 1848 as made of yellow limestone and which survived the earthquake of 13 July 1787 despite its considerable height. Fr. Fernando Martin is credited with building the present church, though Augustinian historian Pedro Galende, opines that he may have reconstructed a previous church, since the description of his work corresponds to the one previously mentioned. Only the church facade, bell tower and a few pillars of the convento remain. The same earthquake that brought Oton to the ground damaged the interior in 1948, apparently. The interior is greatly renovated and has been decorated with mosaics in 1994.
Heritage Features: The facade design is simple: a rectangle surmounted by a triangular pediment, the whole hemmed by thick pillars on either side. To the facade’s right is the three-story bell tower composed of cubes decreasing in size and capped by a pyramidal roof. A lintel and post doorway and an arched window mark the first story while the second story has no apertures. The third story had arched windows. What gives the whole facade distinction is the low relief decorating the central portal. Here a retablo-like design fills the central section. Pilasters, similar to the Mexican estipite flank the entrance, between are low relieves of flowers and cords, all finding focus in the cherub head that decorates the capstone of the entrance. Running horizontally from pilaster to pilaster is a floral frieze at whose center is the seal of the Augustinian order. This band marks the division between the first and second stories. Above is a niche flanked by pilasters embellished with flowers and volutes. The church patron San Juan is depicted. Above the niche is a low relief of the Santo Nino inside a niche. The triangular pediment of the whole structure carries a low relief of flowers arranged inside a rectangular plaque.