Like a gem hidden behind the busy modern facade of Dagupan City, the old Dagupan Cathedral shines with its old regal architecture. Resurrected from the ruins, it now towers as a testament to the city’s foregone era; before malls lined its streets, before concrete paved its highways.
Even masked by a concrete veneer, one can clearly see the history behind the facade of Dagupan’s Neo-Classical Sanctuario de San Juan Evangelista.
According to historians, the original church along with its convent was burned down in 1660 by Andres Malong, a rebel during the Spanish era. The cathedral has been rebuilt and renovated numerous times since due to earthquakes and flood.
Before the old cathedral was rebuilt, a more modern church—the Metropolitan Cathedral—was built at its back. For decades, this served as the Dagupenos house of worship before it was decided to renovate the old one.
Now the once mighty cathedral sits quietly at a backstreet, facing an old market rather than the town plaza. It is quite easy to miss especially if you’re really not looking for it. In fact, the only way we saw it was from the roof deck of the Hotel Le Duc, its belfry standing prominently against the city’s skyline.
Inside the cathedral, its old splendor can be seen through its form with its pitched ceiling rising to great heights.
Unfortunately, the walls have all been painted, save for some bricks layering the base of the massive columns supporting the structure.
Still, the old Dagupan Cathedral is still a sight to behold. A sanctuary for the city’s past, a worthy heritage find amidst the city’s bustling modernity. Take a break when in Dagupan and visit its old cathedral.
The Old Dagupan Cathedral
Sanctuario de San Juan Evangelista
Address: Zamora Street, Dagupan City, Pangasinan
Contact Number: (075) 515-2387
GPS Coordinates Map: 16°02'32.7"N 120°20'06.3"E