San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Silay City

#3 of 7 in Things to do in Silay City
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The San Diego Pro-cathedral, formerly known as the San Diego Parish Church or the St. Didacus Parish Church before its declaration as a pro-cathedral in 1994, is an early 20th-century church in Silay City, Negros Occidental in the Philippines. It is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital of Manila, and is unique in Negros Occidental for being the only church in the province featuring a cupola or dome.HistoryThe parish of Silay was established in 1776 and its first church was built of light materials: bamboo, cogon grass and nipa palm during the time of Gobernadorcillo Alejo Severino's administration. Padre Alejo Ignacio de Molinas, a Spaniard, was its first priest. In 1841, then-parish priest Fr. Eusebio Locsin initiated the construction of a more permanent structure made of stone and wood. The roof was improved through the use of galvanized iron. Further improvements were done but When the revolution broke out in November 5, 1898, the church was left unfinished.In 1925, work began on a grander structure meant to replace the old church. Don Jose R. Ledesma, a resident of Silay and a wealthy sugar baron, donated a substantial portion of the funds needed to build the new edifice. The rest of the money was raised through popular contribution, including fund-raising by schoolchildren.Don Jose Ledesma commissioned an Italian architect, Lucio Bernasconi to design the new church. Bernasconi was also responsible for the design and construction of the Silay Wharf, which was razed by Imperial Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Bernasconi took the churches in his native Italy as the model for the Silay church. The church's layout is in the shape of a Latin cross, with a cupola rising forty meters above the nave. Construction was completed in 1927, and the new church was inaugurated that same year.
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  • This fine cathedral provides a wealth of architecture, urban planning, connection to earlier history, and peace that is unique to the rich collection of buildings in Silay City. The church's layout.....  more »
  • This is the first pro-cathedral in negros island and it is noted by its perfect dome which is very magnificent. If the photographer is good and will take a picture from the vantage point of the...  more »
  • Growing up in the Silay, you take buildings like this for granted. But as you get older you realize how lucky you are to have lived in a city so beautiful, unique and charming, you can't help yourself but be proud. San Diego Pro-Cathedral is a big part of my life. This is where I would go to mass every Sunday in my early years. I especially loved going to the prayer room at the back, among the ruins of an early church structure. San Diego Pro-Cathedral has gone through so many parish priests that its state and upkeep reflects so much how the parish priest in that time prioritizes it. It has been in its best and worst state. Either way, the people of Silay still loves it and will always be proud of it.
  • Beautiful Cathedral. Fascinating architecture. Several believed relics of apostles.
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