Smart Tourism: QR codes now in Iloilo’s Churches

Jaro Cathedral
  • Iloilo Bloggers Society joins Smart Communications and InnoPub media in a Digital Tourism tour of five famous religious sites in Iloilo City
  • Quick Response (QR) codes were installed so visitors can simply scan the codes with their smart phones to learn more about the destinations

Churches are a big part of the religious life of Ilonggos. Most Catholic churches in Iloilo City are also historical monuments, having stood for hundreds of years. They are also destinations for devotees all over the country.

Smart Communications in partnership with InnoPub Media and Iloilo Government launched a digital tourism campaign to promote local churches and religious sites. Quick response (QR) codes and near-field communication (NFC) chips were installed in selected destinations. Visitors can scan the code to access more information about the site, including photos and videos. This initiative can also contribute in the preservation of these important cultural sites.

The tour was accompanied by Ms. Tess Austria, a faculty of University of San Agustin teaching Architecture. She explained the architectural style and historical significance of each site.

St. Vincent Ferrer seminary
Example of QR code in St. Vincent Seminary, Jaro, Iloilo City

In Jaro, our first stop was St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary. It is the fifth oldest and the last founded seminary in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial regime. A trip to Jaro would not be complete without stopping by Jaro Cathedral, the shrine of the Our Lady of the Candles or Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.

La Paz Church. Photo credit: Feature Iloilo

The third stop was La Paz Church, also known as Nuestra Señora De La Paz Y Buen Viaje or Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church. Seafarers and OFWs usually pay homage in this church for safe travel.

The fourth stop was Molo Church or also known as St. Anne’s Church, known for its beautiful Gothic architecture. It was declared a national landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1992. The last church we visited was the Sto. Niño de Arevalo Parish Church in Villa, which has the 3rd oldest Sto. Niño in the Philippines.

Molo Church. Photo credit: Feature Iloilo


Dinner at Camiña Balay Nga Bato

The tour ended with a dinner at Camiña Balay nga Bato in Villa Arevalo. The 150-year-old heritage house was declared by the National Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as an Important Cultural Property. Aside from the rich Ilonggo cuisine they served, we also tried their famous pancit molo and classic tsokolate.

The QR codes are also present in other churches in Iloilo: San Joaquin Church, Santa Monica Church in Pavia, St. Clement’s Church, Mandurriao Church, and Sta. Maria Church. Smart hopes that this initiative will not only benefit tourists but the locals can also learn more and appreciate our historical and cultural heritage.

Below is an interview with Max Limpag by Feature Iloilo, co-founder of InnoPub Media on this digital tourism project:

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