Learn the intriguing history and admire the whitewashed façade of this cathedral that is the heart of Catholic pride in Cebu.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is a wide religious structure of Spanish colonial design. Built between the 17th and 20th centuries, it is among the most important emblems of Catholicism in the Philippines. Inspect the statues of religious figures that decorate the square outside the church.
Relax in the spacious red plaza and capture photos of the magnificent façade. Admire the trefoil pediment with floral carvings, atop which stands a cross. A large pair of columns remain from an early attempt of construction of the cathedral. A booming toll echoes from the bell tower.
At the base of the façade stands the majestic Holy Door, which was added in 2000 for the Jubilee Year and used in 2009 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Cebu’s identification as an archdiocese. Walk through the large portal or other entrances to appreciate the spacious setting of the nave. Gaze up toward the balcony at the impressive pipe organ with wooden frames. The interior contains an array of sculptures depicting saints and a painted ceiling generating a spiritual ambiance.
Appreciate the serene atmosphere in the Meditation Room, which has colorful stained-glass windows and the Blessed Sacrament. The mausoleum at the back of the church serves as the final resting place of bishops and clergy. Learn about the notable figures who are buried here. Purchase gifts and souvenirs with a religious theme in the church’s shop.
Construction of the cathedral was halted many times over the centuries due to lack of funds. It was not completed until the early 1900s. It was partially destroyed by Allied bombings during World War II, before being rebuilt in the 1950s. Notice that its squat shape and thick walls help to protect damage from typhoons and other natural disasters.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is in the San Roque neighborhood in the southeastern part of the city. Ride a bus or jeepney to the Plaridel St. stop, which is just west of the church. Visit nearby sights, such as the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child, the Plaza Independencia and the University of Cebu.