The first Molo Church was built using tabique pampango, the most popular construction technique in the Philippines at that time mainly due to lack of rockstones, manpower, and funding. In 1863, Father Jose Maria Sichon temporarily replaced the church using nipa. In 1866, a new church plan was proposed using coral rock this time. Three years later, Most Reverend Mariano Cuartero, O.P., first bishop of Jaro approved the plan and the construction commenced immediately thereafter. When it was completed, the Gothic-Renaissance Molo Church was dedicated to Saint Anne. The Church of Saint Anne is also known as the Women’s Church because of the statues of the 16 women saints. The saints are: Santa Apolonia, Santa Cecilia, Santa Clara, Santa Felicia, Santa Genoveva, Santa Ines, Santa Isabel, Santa Juliana, Santa Lucia, Santa Marcela, Santa Margarita, Santa Maria Magdalena, Santa Marta, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa de Lima, and Santa Teresa.
At one point, Dr. José P. Rizal paid a visit to this church. During the Second World War, the church became an evacuation shelter but was partially damaged and its bell towers was destroyed during a heavy bombardment of the city. Congressman Manuel Alba initiated the reconstruction of the Molo Church after the liberation. In 1992, the National Historical Institute declared the Molo Church as a national historical landmark.
Note: This is part of LegendHarry‘s July 30-August 8, 2013 Panay Island Backpacking Trip.