Oct 13, 2011

Discover Bacolod Episode 2: The Cathedral de San Sebastian, a City's relic of Faith.

Front of Cathedral
One of the most valued lessons the Spaniards left us in their 300 years of colonization was our Faith. It has shaped our culture, and our character as Filipinos. They also left us with colossal physical structures, that gave us a glimpse of European architecture and design. One of these structures are places of worship...the churches and Cathedrals.

In Bacolod City, amidst the chaos of modern life, stands one of these magnificent works of art of the 19th Century, the Cathedral of San Sebastian.

A Look Back

Built in 1825, this huge monolith isn't what it used to be. The church was originaly made of wood and galvanized roofing made possible under the leadership of then parish priest Fr. Julian Gonzaga. 

Original Interior of the Church
Fr. Ferrero

Fr. Roman Manuel Locsin donated a large bell and Fr. Mariano de Avila gave another one when he became the parish priest in 1863 after the death of Fr. Locsin. It was not until 1871, when then parish priest Fr. Mauricio Ferrero initiated plans to build a bigger church that will be made of coral stones. 

Fr.  Cuenca

The Church was constructed with the help of some of the prisoners, hauling the coral stones from Guimaras via barge and lurches, while the wooden parts were made of hardwood cut in Palawan.

On the eve of the feast of San Sebastian, January 19, 1882, Bishop Cuartero blessed the biggest church in the province. Three years later, the Two towers that is present today were set up. The huge clock that became the main keeper of the town was donated by Don Luis Ruiz de Luzuriaga. In 1885 a huge organ was installed on a nave just above the church entrance, it was later disassembled and never returned.

The San Sebastian Cathedral was declared the cathedral church in 1933 when Bacolod became a diocese. The main altar was simplified and a life-size statue of San Sebastian was enshrined. In the bosom of the Cathedral are the remains of Bishop Casimiro Lladoc, the first bishop of Bacolod and Bishop Manuel Yap, the second Bishop, as well as the remains of generous benefactors of the past decades.

How and Where?

The Cathedral is located in the heart of the City, specifically at the north side of the Public Plaza, beside the La Consolacion College, passing through Rizal Street. 

View Larger Map

On the west side of the Cathedral is the Bishop's Palace, which was actually built in 1891. You'll never get lost because the two towers of the cathedral are visible from the length of Araneta Street on the south and Rizal Street on the East side. The nearest Hotel is the Bacolod Pension Plaza Hotel, just a walking distance from the Church.

Walk with Faith
The Cathedral is a great place to visit especially if your touring Bacolod City, here are some tips when you arrive at the cathedral:
  •  If your a catholic, I guess you should hear mass (schedule here) and appreciate the Amazing Architecture of the enormous Church.

  • Visit the prayer room and take time to meditate.
  •  Light a Candle to the shrines of the Nuestra Señora Virgen de la Regla at the east side of the cathedral.

  • View the Altar of the Cathedral where the  remains of the past Bishops are laid.
  • Check out the Cathedral Crypt..Its not that scary as you would expect though.

  •  Photo-op: If you want to remember your Bacolod Trip, Take photos in these sites   a. The Belfry just in the east side outside the church                                                b. The outside structure of the church especially at dawn or sunset.

Choose Bacolod
One of the Historical sites in Negros, The San Sebastian Cathedral must be a part of your itinerary when visiting Bacolod City, the City of Smiles!!

Onward Bacolod!

1 comment:

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