When it comes to history, the Philippines is rich of them. From before the Spanish colonized the country to the nation’s independence, there are plenty of interesting and fascinating stories to tell. It explains how certain things have come to where they currently are. San Sebastian Cathedral’s story in Bacolod is no exception. This cathedral has been built centuries ago and has seen many of the Philippines’ conflicts. How has this cathedral made of coral stone come to be?

According to some sources, early Christian missionaries during the 1700s placed a small village inhabited by Malayans called Magsungay under the protection of St. Sebastian. After many years, this village would be later known as San Sebastian de Magsungay. It would then be put under the governance of the village’s first gobernadorcillo, Bernardo de los Santos.

Photo from commons.wikimedia.org
Photo by Jennifer Candido Jocson Tingson
Photo by Adrianne De Vera
Photo from commons.wikimedia.org

In its Wikipedia article, it further states that, “due to widespread Moro pirate attacks, the people of Magsungay moved to a new settlement upon the hilly terrain called bakólod, the precursor of the modern-day city of Bacolod. In 1806, Fr. Leon Pedro was appointed as its first parish priest. Years later, Fr. Gonzaga, a young priest from Barcelona, would envision the construction of the San Sebastian Church.”

The cathedral itself was built using coral stone from neighboring island Guimaras and hardwood from Palawan. These materials have withstood the tests of time as the building has survived even until now. At night, the place is illuminated making it a truly spectacular sight.

Photo from en.wikipedia.org
Photo from en.wikipedia.org
Photo from en.wikipedia.org
Photo from en.wikipedia.org
Photo from en.wikipedia.org



  • Entrance fee: N/A
  • Opening hours: 6 AM to 7 PM



Exact location: 1755 Rizal Street, Bacolod City, 6100, Negros Occidental, Rizal St, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental

BY BUS/JEEPNEY: Book a flight to Bacolod-Silay International Airport. From there, ride a tricycle going to downtown Silay City. Then, take either a jeepney or a bus going to Bacolod City. Inform the driver to drop you off at Rizal Street and walk a few steps to the church.

BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “San Sebastian Cathedral” in Bacolod. Parking space is available.

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