Miagao, Iloilo: Bridging Then and Now

The municipality of Miagao resonates in Philippine history and heritage primarily because of its famous Miagao Church (Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church) which is a UNSECO World Heritage Site. Aside from the majestic church, the town has two (2) more prized landmarks which made my visit truly unforgettable.

While on our way to Miagao (which is relatively far from the city), I remembered an incident in 2015 when I passed by the town for work and a colleague told me about the town’s historical bridges.

Big thanks to Google and my sharp memory, I was able to do a last minute research and locate the historical bridges of Britanico and Taytay Boni.

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Britanico Bridge

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Taytay Boni Bridge

The location of Britanico bridge is near the University of the Philippines Miagao campus, but we got lost while searching for it. There was a signage along the road, but we didn’t know where it was exactly located. What we saw was a signage of Sulu restaurant. We decided to enter the restaurant since it was lunch time already. As we were looking for our seats, we were surprised to see the Britanico bridge. It was an OMG encounter for the history girl.  It was a moment in time that I forgot about my appetite and ran near the bridge to see its beauty upclose.

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For someone like me who gets giddy about history, having an unexpected lunch date with a view of a 300-year old Spanish bridge was pure LOVE.

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On the other hand, the Taytay Boni bridge was not hard to find since it is located right beside the national road. Built in 1854, Taytay Boni bridge is the oldest Spanish bridge in Miagao. Taytay Boni is the name referred to the bridge by the locals, but it is also known as Puente de Boni. It was named after Taytay, a Hiligaynon (local dialect) word for bridge and the bridge construction foreman, Boni Neular.

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Taytay Boni was made from tablea or stone slabs from coral stones. If you take a closer look at it, you will notice that the slabs were built-in, which is somehow similar to hollow blocks.  The bridge is not passable to vehicles anymore because it was damaged during the 1948 earthquake.

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I still consider myself lucky because I was able to spend some time to appreciate its beauty and walk through it from end-to-end.

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Bridges are built to provide passage and connect destinations which are separated by a body of water or land underneath. Aside from its purpose, I find it fascinating that there are still historical bridges that serves another purpose – bridging the stories of the past and the present for heritage appreciation and conservation.


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