Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Plaza Libertad [Iloilo City]

During the Spanish colonial era, the most basic feature of a town was the square or plaza as the center of activities, may it be civilian or religious in nature. This is one of the Spaniard's policies in order to organize, evangelize and subjugate the natives under their authority. Called reduccion, it is the systematic resettlement of once scattered natives to town centers.

Plaza Libertad is the plaza for La Punta de Iloilo. Formerly known as Plaza Alfonso XII, it is surrounded by the Iglesia de San Jose de Placer (Church of Saint Joseph), the ancestral house of the Lacsons and the ruins of their botica (pharmacy), the city hall, Hotel Iloilo (now Landbank) and the Masonic Temple Building (which is at exact opposite of the church).

What made this historical was it was here that Ilonggos witnessed the surrender of the Spanish colonial troops, led by Governor General del Rios, to the Ilonggo revolutionaries on Christmas Day 1898. Iloilo was made the last capital of Spain in the Philippines after their defeat in Manila in August 1898.

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