It was five in the morning and Bacolod City was still asleep. We exited Bacolod’s Business Inn lobby and asked the guards on duty for instructions on commuting to Silay City (which is basically one city away from Bacolod). Considered as the Paris of Negros, it had been the center of culture in the region during the Spanish era and not a few poets, artists, architects and politicians have sprung from this place.
After half an hour of being chilled by the morning air rushing through our bus window, we alighted at the town’s tree-laden plaza. The city was just waking up and a few pedestrians were already milling about its street lined with quaint buildings.
The first thing that arrested our attention was the domed cathedral that majestically towers over the sleeping town.
Patterned by an Italian Architect with St. Peter’s Basilica’s design, San Diego Cathedral was built in 1925 and is the only domed-church in Negros. The church evolved from being made from bamboo and cogon, to wood and stone, and now to concrete.
The solemn sound of an ongoing mass greeted us as we entered its mildewy grass lawn.
We silently photographed the church’s smooth geometric Romanesque exterior, very mindful of our noise while waiting for the mass to finish. While standing by, we found company on a group of ravens perched high on silent saints above the cathedral.
Finally, throngs of faithful stream out of the church and we finally went inside its echoing hall, said a silent prayer before taking photographs.
The San Diego Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen, interior-wise. The structure seemed to soar higher and higher as we walked its checkerboard floor. It reached its apex as we arrive at its altar, a huge dome capped the center of the cathedral, with similar semi-circular arches echoing off its design all through its surrounding. The whole thing looked like classical symphony frozen in stone. It was dizzying.
Even with no breakfast, this was definitely a great way to start off our third day in Bacolod City. Food for the soul as they say.