After our visit to the Lumang Simbahan  (Ruins of San Pedro Church) in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique we went off for Iloilo using the coastal  road. The next destination to our mind was Miag-ao Church, but we were surprised when the driver of our service vehicle pulled over  when we pass by in Anini-y. Anini-y , a fourth class municipality in the province of Antique, Philippines.

I was just wondering  why he did it, but before I open my mouth to ask a question I saw a  coral wall resembling that of an old church…. and indeed it was.


The facade St. John Church in Anini-y ,Antique

The driver learned from our conversation of my fascination of the old churches so he brought us there.

The St. John Church became an independent parish on 22 March 1862, in accordance with a papal decree on 20 December 1861. The first Augustinian parish priest was Friar Romualdo Crespo who was appointed in early 1862.


The side view, St. John Church in Anini-y ,Antique

The church was  generally constructed of coral and stones . TheSt. John Church  was  just a few meters away from the shoreline so most likely the corals were just  collected around the area.

According to history, St John Church began around 1845.  Friar Jeronimo Vaquerín was responsible for completing the present complex, the convent in 1879 and the church, except for the arco toral, was almost completed when the Augustinian left in 1898. Friar Vaquenn was the parish priest from 1878 to 1898. St. John Church was vacant during the Philippine Revolution (1898 – 1902). It was taken over by the Aglipayans in 1902 until it was returned to the Catholic Church and the Mill Hill Missionary Fathers in 1908.


In our visit, the main door of St. John Church was closed so we entered  by the side door.  I was amazed seeing the character contributed by the very old tiles inside the church. I suppose, those were the original ones. I am just a bit sad seeing some cement and paints covering some walls inside the church. Perhaps the coral bricks were chipping or falling hence they covered it with cement. Unfortunately, the cement and paints had destroyed  the total character of the St. John Church.


Notice the smooth surface of the walls which were somehow covered by cement

I like the simplicity of St. John Church in contrasts with the other more ornate churches I have visited in the past. Even the altar doesn’t show ornate and opulent details, in fact, the walls in the altar were made of large pebbles.

I also saw a bell lying on the floor inside the church dated 1838. What’s nice about some pieces in most old churches was that most of which has some important information inscribed in it.


(L)The bell tower  and (R) The Main Entrance of St. John Church in Anini-y ,Antique

The main arched entrance to this single-naved church was beautifully decorated by floral sculptures. The three-story bell tower was attached to the church; its lowest floor was quadrilateral while the upper floors were hexagonal.  Arched windows pierced the tower and a domical roof crowned the whole structure.  Again, I don’t like the repair made in the lower portion of the bell tower especially the use of jalousie window.

In 2008, the National Museum of the Philippines named the Church a National Historical Treasure. Even today, there is a drive to raise funds for more restoration and refurbishment work that is projected for the church and its adjacent buildings.


Antique is a Province is Panay Island, which can reach by Land, Air and Sea Travel. Nearest airports to consider are located in Iloilo, Boracay (Caticlan, Aklan) and Kalibo, Aklan. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Philippine Airlines have regular flights to these destinations.

From Iloilo airport, you can take a van to Molo terminal. Buses and vans plying the Iloilo-Caticlan, Iloilo-Culasi or Iloilo-Libertad route can take you directly to Antique. From Caticlan, buses and vans plying the Iloilo via San Jose, Antique route is available in Caticlan Terminal.


  1. Just beautiful! I love the architecture and love checking places like this out when I travel!

  2. What a beautiful church. I love visiting old churches. I hope I can get there someday.

  3. Beautiful! There is something really special about old bells too. I can just imagine it ringing in 1838!

  4. what a lovely place to visit and it looks like it is full of history

  5. Wow what a beautiful church! I would love to see this in person to see all the details up close 🙂

  6. Old churches always stun me. Beautiful pictures

  7. Rebecca Swenor

    This looks like an amazingly gorgeous historical church to visit indeed. I would love to see this in person some day. I love history and visiting historical places like this one. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos and historical information.

  8. It’s so hard to imagine a church that big. I do believe it’s even bigger than our court house which is our largest building in my small area. It’s so gorgeous, I’d love to spend time in there photographing everything.

  9. My husband and I would love to visit. It is so special visiting a church when it is empty. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Antique and historical churches are most attracting and beautiful to have a pray.

  11. Simply beautiful! Nothing like and empty church, savouring the silence and the Presence. Thanks for sharing.

  12. IT looks beautiful. I’m glad these ancient buildings are preserved. In America we tear things down that are old. Thankfully I live in a little town that likes to preserve history, but most big city places are not like that. You can only learn about a place’s history if you preserve it.

  13. What a beautiful church! I bet it was fantastic to see.

  14. That church look very historical, I love seeing antique churches.

  15. Beautiful church! So antique and historical

  16. It is frustrating when the modern world interferes with old but sometimes it can’t be helped. Fascinating insight

  17. I also love visiting and photographing old churches. That one is gorgeous!

  18. Looks beautiful! There’s hardly any old churches around here.

  19. This church is absolutely stunning. Old churches and cemeteries are my favorites!

  20. I cannot say this enough…I just love old churches. There is something calming abouyt them

  21. The pictures are absolutely beautiful! This is one of my goals as a homeschooling parent. Is to visit historical places like these and teach my girls the history behind them. What better way to learn than hands on?!

  22. I just love old churches, the details are so cool. My church meets in a school so wish for more fancy windows.

  23. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    That is beautiful. We just don’t see churches like that around here.

  24. I haven’t been there but hope that they would continue to take care in maintaining and preserving of the church so I can see it with my kids when we visit.

  25. Elizabeth O.

    Old churches are always so beautiful to look at. The details are so beautiful, even from the outside! I hope they continue to take care of Churches like this.

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