Alimodian, Iloilo Province

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Welcome to Alimodian, Iloilo

There is so much to like about Alimodian, a small municipality in Iloilo Province. Although Alimodian is only about twenty-five kilometers from Iloilo City, Alimodian is really a world apart, a pretty, quiet town with an alpine feel. Alimodian is surrounded by hills and a bit further by mountains. Most everything is well maintained, the streets and plaza free from litter, showing that the residents have pride in their community. Alimodian’s old stone Spanish Church and plaza are the centerpieces. A rare Spanish era stone arch bridge is fighting for survival.

On February 16, 2008 four of us set off to explore two hill towns in Iloilo Province; Alimodian and Leon. Much of the immediate area around Iloilo City is quite flat so we were anxious to get up in to the hill country. We started out from our home in Molo and drove the National Highway west to the pretty town of Oton. At Oton we turned off the National Highway onto what is locally called the Oton-Sta. Clara Road. It begins at Barangay Buray and heads north through Sta. Rita, Sta Monica, Biaga and Sta. Rita. Not long after leaving Oton the countryside becomes very “bundok”, a countryside of nipa houses and the road quite rough. Sta. Monica is a pretty little place. Not long after Biaga the terrain become hillier. Next we turned onto the road to Alimodian. That road climbs moderately to the town.

 

 

Alimodian has an alpine feel with the mountains so close at hand

Alimodian has an alpine feel with the mountains so close at hand

Alimodian’s altitude is only about 100 meters above sea level but it has the feel of a mountain town because of the hills that rise around it, particularly to the west. The weather on the day of our trip was comparatively cool and Alimodian seemed cooler than the city.

Alimodian's pretty plaza

Alimodian's pretty plaza

The perimeter of the  Alimodian Plaza is planted with a cypress or cedar.  Does anyone know the variety?  They seem to be thriving.

The perimeter of the Alimodian Plaza is planted with a cypress or cedar. Does anyone know the variety? They seem to be thriving.

We live quite close to Molo Plaza, really just about the only park land available to tens of thousands of Molo residents. It is just loved and used to death, almost always filled with schoolkids, the terrain so used it’s scruffed to raw dirt. Nothing could withstand all the use that park gets. How lucky are the people of places like Alimodian who have inherited, preserved and maintained so nicely a pretty town park at the center of the community!

Alimodian, Iloilo Plaza and Church

Alimodian, Iloilo Plaza and Church

Alimodian, Iloilo Church

Alimodian, Iloilo Church.  This photo shows how today’s Alimodian Church is a mixture of historic elements and portions reconstructed after the 1948 earthquake.
The Alimodian Municipal Hall sits opposite the church, across the plaza

The Alimodian Municipal Hall sits opposite the church, across the plaza

Alimodian, Iloilo Church

Alimodian, Iloilo Church

Alimodian Church History

Alimodian Church History

The town’s Spanish heritage has been preserved.  It has a large Plaza dominated by has an old Spanish church, the municipal hall and other public buildings.  While the massive old church was decimated, as other Panay building were by the huge earthquake of 1948 it was not torn down.  The surviving parts were saved, treasured, restored and supplemented by new construction sympathetic with the original.  The overall impression is of impassioned stewardship and pride.  Let’s hope the same spirit saves the very beautiful and historic Eloisa bridge which is imperiled by proposal to replace rather than conserve this rare survivor.

Side Entrance, Alimodian Church

Side Entrance, Alimodian Church

Alimodian Church Interior

Alimodian Church Interior

Alimodian Church - Interior, Retablo

Alimodian Church - Interior, Retablo

Alimodian Church, Interior, Cornice and Brick Arch

Alimodian Church, Interior, Cornice and Brick Arch

Alimodian Church Interior, Cornice showing 1948 earthquake damage

Alimodian Church Interior, Cornice showing 1948 earthquake damage

Behind the Alimodian church a quiet and green courtyard

Behind the Alimodian church a quiet and green courtyard

Preserved and displayed in the church courtyard are fragments from the original church.

Preserved and displayed in the church courtyard are fragments from the original church.

alimodian_church_bell

Alimodian Church dome from courtyard

Alimodian Church dome from courtyard

Alimodian Library - open for business!

Alimodian Library - open for business!

Neat, organized and welcoming Alimodian Library

Neat, organized and welcoming Alimodian Library

During our visit to Alimodian we were so impressed with the actual functioning of the community.  So many towns have the various equipages of municipal life (libraries, senior centers, day care centers and so forth) but which are not really operating.  In Alimodian these all seemed to be alive with activity.   Hence, Alimodian seemed to be a truly functioning small municipality, not just an Iloilo suburb which the life has gone out of.

Tesda training program - open and busy!

Tesda training program - open and busy!

Looking up toward the church and plaza from the Alimodian public market

Looking up toward the church and plaza from the Alimodian public market

Monument in Alimodian plaza

Monument in Alimodian plaza

A sign marks the way to "Agony Hill"

A sign marks the way to "Agony Hill" - fourteen stations of the Cross on a hilltop reached after a stiff hike. Excellent views of the surrounding countryside.

In the same spirit which led the community to save and reconstruct the Alimodian Church, local residents are rallying to save a rare Spanish-era bridge.

Eloisa Bridge, Alimodian, Iloilo

Eloisa Bridge, Alimodian, Iloilo

Eloisa Bridge, Alimodian, Iloilo Historic landmark

Eloisa Bridge, Alimodian, Iloilo Historic landmark


For some great photos of the Alimodian back country see Raymond Deza’s site at http://raymonddeza.multiply.com/photos/album/198
I wish I was not such an old geezer so I could explore like this!

Comments (10) Write a comment

  1. Nice description of my hometown Alimodian! Makes me feel closer to the land of my birth! I feel proud to be an Alimodianon!!!

    Reply

  2. Wow i will be come in this area for married one preety girl from this town her name is Erlyn Cantomoyer.

    Wow I am a foreigner, so i feel proud to get marry from this town.

    Reply

  3. Wow this a nice place now after 11 year i didn’t come back to the place where i born.

    Reply

  4. Pingback: Building our house: getting started at goILOILO.com

  5. hat a beautiful town…i’ve never been there…Bob, you’ve practically been everywhere in Panay—ever been to Estancia??

    Reply

  6. Very nice description, photos and information. You are going to make me add a side-trip to Iloilo next trip down there. Sure looks like beautiful countryside near Alimodian.

    Reply

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