Borongan Cathedral's transformation

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

After a quick round-up of Borongan's old houses, I dropped by the blue cathedral, which houses the image of Nuestra Señora de Borongan, the town's patroness. It is more popularly known as the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has become Borongan's landmark.

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

The cathedral dates back to the 16th century but has undergone several renovations and extensive remodeling over several centuries. Up to this time, the cathedral will be undergoing renovations for its beautification and structural integrity.

The cathedral is a Jesuit architecture. Through the centuries since it has been erected, the only remaining original structure is the circular bell tower. Comparing it with the old photos of the church, one will notice however that another level was added to the original two-level church tower.

According to the Heritage Conservation Society, "The church fabric itself was drastically renovated, the façade replaced by a new one, the walls torn down to make way for more doors and windows. The church pillars though covered with cement and painting belong to the old fabric. Their positions give an indication of the size of the Franciscan-built church." further describes how it has undergone changes over time with its presentation of old photos of the church. Indeed, the church has undergone so many changes.

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

Be that as it may, I still find the church appealing to the senses. I was particularly captivated by its beautiful old tiles reminiscent of the 60's era. I just hope the parish administration will not change it.

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

The altar has been modernized with its special lighting and stained glass ornaments. The dome structure on the left side of the church, which houses the Holy Eucharist; is also quite intriguing. I was trying to ask how it is called but they simply called it "Domo Deus" or God's house.

Borongan Cathedral's Transformation

Infront of the church is the Plaza which still has an old monument with a man riding a horse.  I was looking for any marker but I found none. Further research about this monument, I learned that it is the monument of Santiago or Saint James the Greater that was erected in honor of the saint believed to have been the protector of Borongan from the Moro raids in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It is understandable that Borongan church would undergo structural changes which were dictated by the needs of the times. This would not augur well for conservationists. It is just my prayer that church officials, while they want to ensure the safety of parishioners, should also watch after the historical integrity of the church through preservation of the remaining old structures and features.

Click here for a more detailed historical account of the church and the Diocese of Borongan.

More photos after the JUMP.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

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