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Tagbilaran Metropolitan Cathedral
Part 17 of the Libotero Bohol Series
It was Sunday and we had to attend mass but since the first afternoon mass in the city was happening only at 4pm, we killed more time at Island City Mall . We did some pasalubong shopping, especially for peanut kisses, calamay: both the original and the ube-flavored one. Good thing, there are freshly cooked ones readily available at the supermarket. And when I say fresh, they’re really fresh, hot, fresh from the oven!
At around 3pm, we left the mall and went straight to the Tagbilaran Metropolitan Cathedral.
The Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker, the seat of the Archdiocese of Bohol, stands in the central part of Tagbilaran City. Located in Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, the city’s main street, the church has a grand setting. In front of it is the city plaza, which has landscaped gardens portraying a mini-Chocolate Hills. Meanwhile, across the street from the plaza is the centuries-old Bohol Provincial Capitol, a stone-built structure that has been the seat of the Bohol Provincial Government since Spanish times.
Candle Gallery at the right side of the Cathedral
Fronting the Cathedral, a statue of Saint Joseph with the child Jesus will greet you. A lot of devotees pause here to offer their petitions as the image at the main altar is too far and too high to reach. The Cathedral celebrates the feast of Saint Joseph on May 1. And by the way, May is the fiesta season in Bohol. With very accommodating Boholanos who are more than willing to let you join in their celebrations, May is by far the best month to visit the province.
The right side of the Church as viewed from the rear right near the restrooms
Today, most of the details on the church’s interior and exterior have been heavily renovated. Only the bell tower remains only slightly touched.
In recent years, the church has undergone an expansion which involved an additional wing on both sides of the Church to accommodate the ever-growing Catholic faithful of Bohol.
And speaking of expansion, that’s where we sat to listen to mass. We wanted to hide since we were just wearing shorts and we were afraid the priest might shoo us off from the Church for not following the appropriate dress code, and the expansion wing was perfect as it was not at all visible to the priest. Haha. You can’t blame us though. We genuinely wanted to attend mass but we were not aware of such dress code before our trip to Bohol so we just stayed in the sidelines so as to not make a scene.
(…to be continued)