at first glance you’d probably mistake it for a castle. the steep vertical columns rise sharply into the sky to form sinister-looking spires surrounded by smaller ones laden with spikes. for some reason, i immediately thought of gargoyles.
but gargoyles and saints don’t exactly go together. because while this gothic-inspired structure elicits images of king arthur and the medieval times, it is actually a roman catholic cathedral. fronting the church is a statue of the blessed mother wearing a robe in accordance with the church’s motif.
it’s not exactly an old church, which is why i kind of didn’t really show as much interest in it. coral-stoned churches always have me at hello. cemented ones don’t hold my attention as much. although i have to admit that it’s the most unique roman catholic church i’ve seen so far in terms of design. and the prettiest one too, as far as modern churches go.
and because i didn’t listen to the facts narrated by our guide, i had to go and grab a couple of paragraphs from people who actually did their research:
The cathedral was built during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the late part of the 1800s. Since then, it has become part of every Palawan local’s spiritual refuge, especially during the war.
Spanish Colonizers founded the settlement in Puerto Princesa on March 4, 1872. Scanning the Palawan shoreline for a capital site, the Spaniards found a steep hill and an extensive plateau which they deemed was ideal for settlement.
Father Antonio Muro leveled a portion of the hill to make way for a chapel, the same location of the cathedral, which used to be a small church then, the historic Plaza Cuartel and local Rizal Park. By 1961, the locals changed the small church into the big cathedral it is known today.
the cathedral is a walking distance from the plaza cuartel. less than a hundred steps, i believe. it’sTHATclose! so if you find yourself at the cuartel, take a few more steps and you’d soon come face to face with this blue and white structure whose colors resemble heaven’s blue and white clouds.
unless, of course, the steps you take lead you to the opposite direction.