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Visita Iglesia: Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Carmelites Monastery Cebu

CEBU City, Philippines— One thing that binds the Cebuanos since time immemorial is the shared responsibility of enriching the rich religious culture and being able to reflect on the most important week in the Church’s year. 

Known to be the cradle of Christianity, it is no wonder why Cebu houses some of the most significant churches in the country, even in Asia. 

As we commemorate this year’s Holy Week, let us trudge the roots back to some of  Cebu’s most prominent religious landmarks that have become beacons of faith. 


In an article published by My guide ph., it was said that the Spanish Friars noticed Cebu having no decent church, which paved the way to the building of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. The church was built in 1595, but the whole building process was not as smooth as others might believe. 

In fact, the cathedral has surpassed numerous trials in the past.


The facade of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. | CDN Digital photo

Fruitfully, the completion was first declared in 1909 under Bishop Juan Bautista Gorordo and the renovations started 25 years after, spearheaded by Chinese Filipino engineer, Gavino Unchuan.


Unfortunately, the Cathedral was greatly damaged during World War 2, leaving the facade, walls and belfry intact.


Details of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City. | CDN Digital photo

Among the casualties were the centuries-old records of the early archdiocese, which were deemed gone forever.

CDN Digital photo

In 2008, the former late Cebu Archbishop Cardinal Vidal headed a P30-million renovation of the Cathedral. This was the second major reconstruction under Vidal’s reign after the reconstruction project in 1993.

This includes the ‘retablo’ made from a Philippine mahogany  located at the center of the altar.


The altar of the Cathedral. | CDN Digital photo

With all the renovations made, this prospered the operations of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in serving the public during their most vulnerable moments.

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is in the San Roque neighborhood in the southeastern part of Cebu City.

For Holy Week 2023, the Cebu metropolitan cathedral will soon resume its most- renowned “Siete Palabras,” which was halted to be done physically for over three years due to health restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

THE CHAMBER OF PEACE AND SERENITY IN CEBU — Carmelites Monastery in Mabolo, Cebu City

The Carmelite Order in Cebu was first established in May of 1949.

“God-hungry and God-thirsty, the world would only fling itself into greater ruin if it did not find the authentic solution to its problem,” says a portion of the Carmelite Monastery Cebu’s mission.

The facade of the Carmelites Monastery Cebu in Cebu City. | CDN Digital photo

The Monastery, unlike other churches that can be found in Cebu, is much smaller and less busier, but has held its walls stronger through time.


Part of the compound of the Carmelite Monastery in Cebu City. | CDN Digital photo

According to Carmelite Monastery Cebu’s Head Guard, Mr. Roso Magdadaro, since its installation in 1949, the church only went through minor repairs and retouches.

“Ang kausaban lang ani ma’am kay gi repaint ug gi retouch lang. Ang katong mga nang liki  gi plastaran ra. Sukad sa pagkatukod ani, mao na gyud ni siya,” said Magdadaro.


CDN Digital photo

For this year’s Holy Week, the monastery has set up activities in which civilians can attend while visiting the religious site. 

“Naa ta’y Visita Iglesia, kumpisal and then sa Huwebes, naa mi Vigil daghan mu bisita nato gikan 10 o’clock until 11 sa gabie na siya,” he said. 

Upon visiting, the nuns residing in the monastery are following a strict no-contact policy to the outside world until Easter Sunday. As for the activities, these are to be done by the sisters residing outside the monastery.

The altar of the Carmelites Monastery Cebu. | CDN Digital photo

 Magdadaro reminds visitors and church-goers to always bring with them the necessities needed for the hot weather.

“Sa mu ari karong Semana Santa, ako lang ika-advise nila kay to bring tubig ug payong kay init kaayo. Kung mahimo dili lang magdala og gagmayng bata kasagaran kay ang mga tawo mag abot, dasuk kaayo ba…. Daghan man tag sakyanan pero atong parkingan gamay ra kaayo; kung mahimo mag pa drop-off nalang sila sa ilang service drivers ug family drivers…” he said.



1. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
2.  Catholic pride in Cebu
3. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Archives


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