Restoration works on the Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol and Santa Barbara Church, two of Iloilo’s iconic heritage buildings, are set for completion in time for the 117th Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Iloilo will be in the national limelight once more as it becomes the site of this year’s grand Independence Day celebration on June 12. The town of Santa Barbara, where the Philippine flag was first raised outside Luzon, will be hosting the Independence day rites and flag-raising led by President Aquino. Later in the morning, the celebrations will move to the Old Provincial Capitol for the vin d’honneur, a traditional reception where President Aquino will welcome and greet the diplomatic community.

Iloilo Provincial Capitol

Restoration of the American-era Old Provincial Capitol or Casa Real building was initiated in 2012 and undertaken in three phases at a cost of around P53 million. It is expected to be completed by June 12, 2015 with President Aquino leading the unveiling of the marker, which will be done during the vin d’ honneur.

Originally made of wood and stones during the Spanish-colonial period, the old capitol building became the seat of the civil government of the province of Iloilo and underwent several major renovations since. In 2012, it was declared as a National Historical Site by the National Historical Commission (NHC) and was replaced as the seat of the provincial government upon the completion of the modern 6-storey building behind it.

With the grand restoration complete, Old Provincial Capitol has become a landmark that Ilonggos can be proud of — a beautiful addition to the city’s tourist attractions and a feather to the cap for heritage conservation in Iloilo.

Rennovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building in Bonifacio Drive, City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Renovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building with the new capitol building behind it.

Rennovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building in Bonifacio Drive, City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Front view of the Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building along Bonifacio Drive in City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Rennovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building in Bonifacio Drive, City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Closer view of the facade.

Rennovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building in Bonifacio Drive, City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Landscaped street parks and the Arroyo Fountain found near the building

Rennovation of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building in Bonifacio Drive, City Proper, Iloilo City, Philippines

Located in front of the Old Provincial Capitol, the Arroyo Building is known as the “Kilometer Zero” mark in Iloilo.

Santa Barbara Church and Convent

The Roman Catholic Parish Church and Convent of Santa Barbara town located on the outskirts of Iloilo City had also undergone a massive restoration that is already nearing completion. It is one of the most beautiful heritage churches not only in Iloilo but in Western Visayas region and had played an important role in Philippine history has the cradle of the revolutionary movement against Spain in the Visayas.

The Santa Barbara Church and Convent restoration project was spearheaded by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) at a cost of around P50 million. Here are photo updates showing the renewed look of the church’s facade, interiors, the convent, and courtyard.