Cathedral of San Sebastian in Bacolod


The Cathedral of San Sebastian in Bacolod, Philippines was originally founded by Bishop Mariano Cuartero, O.P. In April 27, 1876, the cornerstone was laid and the church was inaugurated in January 20, 1882. Fray Mauricio Ferrero, became the first parish priest. The original church became a cathedral in June 23, 1933. Three years after, it was repaired and improved by Msgr. Casimiro M. Lladoc D.D., the first bishop of the San Sebastian Cathedral who served from 1933-1951.

The Recollect priests believe that the liturgical life and devotion are of primary importance in the Recollect missions. It is of this spirit that the churches built by the Recollect missionaries display spiritual and even material grandeur.

The beauty of San Sebastian Cathedral is not a showcase – it is all for God. The people of God gave their best, even for free. The hacienderos, donated properties to the church. The local folks volunteered to lift stones and bricks. The artisans, Filipinos and Chinese, offered the best from their talents. The Recollect friars were truly committed and devoted for the service of God, gave their heart and deed for evangelization. They formed one community – one mind, one heart and one soul for God’s Kingdom. The early Christian community was what made this the new ecclesia – a people gathered working for God’s Kingdom. Such is the magnificence of the Cathedral, at the heart of the massive structure is and enlightened Church Community of the Poor.

San Sebastian Cathedral - Bacolod

San Sebastian Cathedral - Bacolod

Christ at the facade

Christ at the facade

Entering the gates of the Cathedral of San Sebastian, one will instantly notice the baroque architectural style of the church. Most of the pillars, walls, foundations of the church are coral stones with minor reinforcements of modern day cement to maintain the solid structure for more generations. On one side of the façade is the statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Bacolod, bringing a child and rosary. In the mid section of the façade is the statue of the resurrected Jesus Christ and a small label written in Spanish below it.

Inside the church, the statue of San Sabestian can be seen on the main altar. He has two arrows pierced through his body and one arrow on his neck. The interior of the Cathedral of San Sebastian features the wooden retablo mayor, its ornate ceiling, octagonal marble columns, rose windows, twin pulpit, marble holy water font (1885), massive side windows and decorative chandeliers. Notable are the old Stations of the Cross which are made from plaster of Paris and the flag-stand bearing the logo (escudo) of the Recoletos.

Centennial Belfry

Centennial Belfry

On one side, outside the church are the two massive bells known as the Centennial Belfry. It was constructed by Sugarlandia Lions Club of Bacolod and inaugurated in July 31, 1976 during the Cathedral Centennial Year. The larger bell which weighs 1,543.5 kilos, costing P1,245.00 during that time was donated in 1866 by Fr. Mariano Avila, the Parist priest of Bacolod in 1863-1871. The smaller bell, which weighs 761 kilograms, was installed in 1890 by Fr. Mauricio Ferrero, a recollect Parish priest of Bacolod in 1871-1910. These bells formed part of four others mounted on the Cathedral towers in 1879. It warned Bacolod of revolution in November 5, 1898 or also known as Cinco de Noviembre. It was lowered in 1969 during the reconstruction of the Cathedral towers.

How to get there

The Cathedral of San Sebastian is about 12 kilometers south of Silay where the Bacolod-Silay Airport is situated. From the airport take a van-for-hire (P50, aircon) or tricycle (P20) going to Silay’s city center. From there, take a bus (P20) or jeepney (P13) going to Bacolod. Jeepneys usually stop at Robinson’s Mall, from there take an SM City Bacolod route jeepney (P7) and tell the driver to drop you at the Cathedral near the Public Plaza. The San Sebastian Cathedral is 300 meters away from SM Mall and 150 meters away from Manokan Country. It is about a kilometer away from the RORO port of Bacolod where jeepneys (P7) ply to SM.

Marker of the San Sebastian Cathedral

Marker of the San Sebastian Cathedral

Coral Stones of the Church

Coral Stones of the Church

The 1885 Marble Holy Water Font

The 1885 Marble Holy Water Font

Interiors of San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod

Interiors of San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod


This page is last updated on Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:33 pm
About the author
Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

  1. Ms_Mars says:

    omg! great great vivid pics! i hate your camera, hahaha!jst kiddin Mark…

    im definitely going to pay homage to this historic church coz this coming middle of June 2011, im packing my bags and headed this time to City of Smiles, Bacolod!!! my maiden trip but hopefully a follow up visit is in tow.

    your infos and awesome snapshots will help me enjoy and relish the city a lot more before my actual trip! good job!

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