Santa Barbara Heritage Zone
The Heritage Zone is an area designated within the municipality where revolutionary leaders in Santa Barbara have gathered in an organized struggle to end the tyranny of the Spanish Rule and was therefore emancipated from the cruelty of colonialism. This area is identified and designated for the purpose of knowing the value of our struggle and use them for future development. Some of the main features of the Heritage Zone are the following:
“Cry of Santa Barbara” Marker
This lies in the same site where the Filipino Flag was first raised outside Luzon. The event is now popularly known as Cry of Santa Barbara; one which recognizes the heroism and bravery of Gen. Martin T. Delgado and his Liberating Army. This marker is the anchor of the town’s important role in Philippine history.
Gen. Martin T. Delgado Monument
A bronze statue, facing the Municipal Hall Building in the northwestern entrance of the “Victory” Plaza. The monument is a tribute to the town’s most distinguished son and the greatest revolutionary hero Visayas has ever produced- Gen. Martin T. Delgado. The statue which was unveiled in time with the 1998 Centennial Celebration is an unfading memorial of the gallantry and patriotism of Gen. Delgado and his revolutionary forces.
Roman Catholic Church and Convent
One of the better restored and preserved churches in the province, Santa Barbara church is an excellent example of Filipino baroque colonial architecture. It is a neoclassical church where Gen. Martin T. Delgado of the Visayan Revolutionary government convened the junta that raised the first cry of revolution against Spain in Iloilo.
The Santa Barbara Church was constructed in 1845 and was finished 33 years later. In 1990, it was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute.
Nestled in the heart of the town and landscaped in time for the 1998 Philippine Centennial, it is considered as a favorite hang-out of young and old especially during afternoons and early evenings. It has two main historical features which include the Bandstand and the Rizal Monument. The Bandstand, an octagonal-shaped structure was constructed in 1925 and since then served as venue to various political gatherings and other social activities. Another prominent structure with historical value in the plaza is the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal and the Propagandist.
In front of the Municipal Hall Building, stood a 120-feet flagpole amidst a well-manicured mini-park. This was constructed in time with the 1998 Philippine Centennial Celebration and it flies the biggest Philippine Flag outside Luzon. This flag is one of the only five giant flags in the country.
Centennial Museum and Information Center
Constructed in 1998 as part of the Centennial Freedom Trail Site Project of the Philippine Centennial Commission, the museum houses antiques, artifacts and photos which tells the story of Santa Barbara’s proud historical heritage.
A drinking well at the far left side of the Municipal Building Complex, this is the original “poso” among its kind in the town. From its depths, red-gold water gushes out unceasingly, hence, making it unique and one of a kind, which can only be found in Santa Barbara.
A tree with thick, green foliage and distinctly big, white flowers, this is where the town was first named after. Standing alone at the front, left side of the Municipal Hall Building, the Catmon Tree is the only one of its kind that can be found in the town now.
Other Significant Landmarks and Attractions
Iloilo Golf and Country Club
Carved on a 35 hectares of plain and rolling hills, the 18-hole golf course in Brgy. San Sebastian claims an undisputed pre-eminence in golfing history. Asia’s largest golfing publication “Golf Digest” called Santa Barbara Golf Course as the oldest course in the Philippines and one of the oldest courses in Asia. Built in 1907 by a group of British and Scottish expatriates working on the Panay Railway System, it distinguishes itself from other clubs as not only a place for recreation but a historical landmark as well.
Completed 1n 1925, the MIWD Reservoir supplies the water needs of Santa Barbara, Pavia and Iloilo City. The water basin which 64.38 meters above sea level, is the first waterworks system in the country.
Santa Barbara Irrigation Dam
Constructed in 1926, the irrigation dam is the first gravity irrigation system in the Visayas that has revolutionalized farming. This is the oldest irrigation system in the country.
Roman Catholic Cemetery
One of the oldest landmarks in the town. Its façade bears the mark of the Spanish influence in the country and considered as one of the strongest structures in the town.
W.U.T.H.L.E. (Women United Through Handicrafted Lace and Embroidery)
Originated in Belgium by the ICM Sisters’ Apostolate, this is the only one of its kind in the Philippines. This is a non-profit organization which seeks to uplift the lives of women through embroidery and lace-making. Their workplace can be found inside the compound of the Western Visayas Sanitarium, where one can actually see the lace-making and embroidery under the nimble and creative hands of the workers.
GARBAGE DUMP CUM ECOLOGICAL PARK
The garbage dump in the municipality of Santa Barbara is called “Ecological Park” because, instead of mounds of fetid garbage and army of scavengers, the park has fruit trees and vegetable plots. The 2.4 hectare park located at Brgy. Daga is everything but a garbage dump. It houses a nursery, a seminar area, a recycling shed, fruit trees plantation and vegetable garden. Garbage, often the biodegradable shredded market refuse, is confined to a small area where they are scooped into huge pits and covered by layers of earth. The establishment of the park is a new tack in dealing with solid waste , once a scourge in this town located about 16 km from Iloilo City.
Initially launched to boost the town’s rating in the provincial Clean and Green contest, the park is fast becoming a model in solid waste management in Iloilo province. Hence, Santa Barbara, known as a cradle of revolutionaries against the Spanish and the American colonizers, continues to make history by revolutionizing its age-old garbage disposal system.
The town’s old open-pit dump used to stand in a 700-square meter lot at the back of its market and slaughterhouse and beside an overflowing spring where many families get their water for drinking. The old dump was then transformed into a community vegetable garden. What used to be mounds of smelly garbage is now a garden of sweet potato, okra, eggplant and corn.