Ever wondered about the oldest churches in VisMin?

As a Christian country, we have various churches that have been existing for centuries. The church serves as a central place for Christians to come together for prayer, worship, study, and fellowship. Thus, churches play an essential role in Christianity.

Let’s now explore the oldest churches existing in Visayas and Mindanao.

1. St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral 

Established in 1624, it’s one of the oldest churches in the region, although the current structure dates back to the 19th century. The cathedral’s architecture combines elements of Spanish colonial style with local influences, featuring graceful arches, ornate facades, and towering spires that reach toward the heavens. This is located in Cagayan de Oro City. Its storied history is believed that this church has been a place of spiritual refuge and community for generations of worshippers. Today, it continues to serve as a beacon of faith, welcoming pilgrims and visitors from near and far to experience its timeless beauty and profound significance.


Exact Location: Cagayan De Oro, 9000, Misamis Oriental

  •  By Car: Navigate via Google Maps or Waze and pin “Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral” as your destination. 

2. Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño

Founded in the 16th century by Spanish explorers, it’s one of the oldest churches in the Philippines located in Cebu City. Built on the site where the image of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) was found by Spanish explorers in 1565. The basilica holds deep historical and religious significance. Its architecture combines elements of both Spanish colonial and native Filipino styles, featuring a facade adorned with intricate carvings and a distinctive bell tower. Inside, visitors can marvel at the ornate altar and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. The basilica is a focal point for religious pilgrimages and cultural celebrations, particularly during the annual Sinulog Festival, which honors the Santo Niño.


Exact Location: Pilgrim’s Center, Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu

  •  By Car: Navigate via Google Maps or Waze and pin “Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño” as your destination. 

3. San Pedro Apostol Parish Church

Located in Loboc, Bohol. Constructed in 1602, it stands as one of the oldest churches in the country. Its façade showcases a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical styles, adorned with intricate carvings and ornate details. The church is renowned for its unique three-story bell tower, which also served as a watchtower against pirate attacks during the colonial period. Until today, the church continues to stand as a symbol of faith and resilience, drawing visitors from near and far who come to admire its beauty and learn about its storied past.


Exact Location: Loboc, Bohol

  •  By Car: Navigate via Google Maps or Waze and pin “San Pedro Apostol Parish Church” as your destination. 

4. San Pedro Cathedral

Built during the Spanish colonial era, its neoclassical architecture boasts grand columns and a towering bell tower. This church is located in Davao City. The interior design is constructed with elegant arches, ornate altars, and vibrant stained glass windows. As the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao, it serves as a spiritual hub and cultural landmark, welcoming all to experience its timeless beauty and significance. Inside, the cathedral’s interior is equally impressive, with its spacious nave, graceful arches, and richly decorated altars. The walls are adorned with religious artwork and vibrant stained glass windows, which bathe the space in colorful light. Each element contributes to the cathedral’s atmosphere of reverence and awe, inviting visitors to pause and reflect in its hallowed halls.


Exact Location: San Pedro St., Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao Del Sur 

  •  By Car: Navigate via Google Maps or Waze and pin “San Pedro Cathedral” as your destination. 

5. Miagao Church

Officially known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines. Constructed in the late 18th century, it is renowned for its impressive fortress-like appearance and unique fusion of Baroque and indigenous Filipino architectural styles. Its two massive stone watchtowers flank the church, serving as both defensive structures and bell towers. These towers are adorned with elaborate carvings and serve as a testament to the church’s role as a fortress during the Spanish colonial period. It has withstood the test of time, surviving earthquakes, wars, and natural disasters, and remains a cherished landmark for the people of Miagao and visitors alike.


Exact Location: Zulueta Ave, Miagao, 5023 Iloilo 

  •  By Car: Navigate via Google Maps or Waze and pin “Miagao Church”  as your destination. 

As Filipinos, it is crucial to be knowledgeable about our history. Enriching knowledge from the past will help us better understand the present. 

Paying a visit to these churches will help us better understand why Christianity is highly treasured in our country.

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