Tuguegarao City holds the record for having the hottest climate in the Philippines. And on in this particular day, we really can’t quite dispute that. We were sweating buckets as we moved through the city’s busy streets, walking through shades and sprinting along open areas as we made our way to the Tuguegarao Cathedral.
|MYSTERIOUS WALL DECORATIONS|
The baroque-style cathedral stood proudly against the midday heat. A handsome brick sentinel, watching guard over the whole city. On its symmetrical facade, framed by Solomonic twisted pilasters, we could glean cryptic clay casts; two bolos with a six-pointed stars, roosters, mysterious characters topped with crowns.
Church architecture aficionados were quite particular with the cathedral’s broken and crested pediment, a style they said, typical to Cagayan churches.
|A MARIAN SHRINE ON ONE OF THE CATHEDRAL’S SIDE WALLS|
Its formal name is Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, but locals simply refer to it as katidral. The current structure was built by the Dominicans in 1761, its construction concluding seven years later. It is one of the largest churches in the whole Cagayan Valley region.
|THE FIVE-STOREY BRICK BELFRY|
On its right side, a five-storey brick belfry stands. On its base, false windows dressed with the same cryptic reliefs can be found. Unlike the conical tower we saw at the Tumauini Church in the neighboring province of Isabela, this one in Tuguegarao has a more formal quadrilateral shape.
|THE OLD BELL DISPLAYED AT THE BACK PART OF THE CATHEDRAL|
The Tuguegarao Cathedral was heavily damaged during the Second World War, although you’d hardly see its scars from its past. At its back, an old bell is displayed, one that was rung when the SPC Sisters arrived in 1907.
|TUGUEGARAO CATHEDRAL’S INTERIOR PRIOR TO THE RECENT RENOVATION|
During my first visit, about two years ago, the cathedral’s interiors were quite bare. Now the previously bare vaulted ceiling has been transformed to a barreled one; colorful trompe l'oeil paintings producing a three-dimensional pre-cast-like effect over the faithful below.
Its pilasters also received the same treatment, it was just too bad I wasn’t able to enter its halls on my recent visit and take a photo.
|THE CATHEDRAL’S CAGAYAN-STYLE FACADE|
The Tugeugarao Cathedral has always been our main point of reference when in the city. Everyone knows where it was, it’s easy to spot and more importantly two of the best pancit batil patong carinderias, Jomar’s and Ed’s, sit right next to it.
Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
Address: Rizal Street, Centro 8,
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Contact Number: (078) 304-0557 | (0905) 658-9888
GPS Coordinates Map: 17°36'47.9"N 121°43'49.7"E