𝗨𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽’𝘀 𝗣𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗝𝗮𝗿𝗼, 𝗜𝗹𝗼𝗶𝗹𝗼
25 February 1895, Ink on cloth, 53 x 78 cm., National Archives of the Philippines Collection
Pope Pius IX, through the brief Qui ab Initio (Who from the beginning), created a new diocese with a seat in Jaro on May 27, 1865. By then, the town of Jaro had a church and rectory big enough to serve as the new cathedral and as the episcopal residency. At that juncture then, it was time to separate the Iloilo diocese from the Cebu diocese.
Eventually, the floor plan for a two-storey residential building was made, according to be the design of the new house of the Archbishop. Below is the Planta Alta (top floor) plan of the Bishop’s palace. The Ayudante encargado (Assistant Manager) prepared the plan and the Ingeniero Jefe (Chief Engineer) examined and approved it on February 25, 1895.
The top floor plan includes the different rooms to be built. They are the sala de espero (waiting room), pasillo (hallway), salon (lounge), comedor (dining room), oratoria (chapel), dormitorio (bedroom), gabinete de visitas (visiting room), azotea (rooftop), baño y retrete (toilet and bath) and others. The plan shows the standard amenities found in a typical rectory then. However, no details regarding the location and lot plans are included.
The present Archbishop’s palace or residence is located at Number 192, Plaza Rizal St., Jaro, Iloilo. It was constructed in 1925. Images then and now of the residence, available from various websites, were compared. It appears that revisions were done to the edifice of the present Archbishop’s residence. Was the floor plan of 1895 adopted? This is an interesting question to be pursued in further research investigations of the present Archbishop’s palace vis-a-vis the 1895 floor plan.
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Hernandez, Policarpo F. Iloilo: The most noble city: History and Development, 1566-1898. Quezon City, New Day Publishers, 2008.