Romblon’s Oldest Roman Catholic Church: Romblon Cathedral
Apart from its marble industry, there are plenty of tourist spots in Romblon, from pristine beaches to cultural landmarks, such as the Romblon Cathedral. The centuries-old cathedral is a must-visit Roman Catholic Church for those who wish to strengthen their faith and reconnect with God.
So if you’re planning to explore the archipelagic province, keep reading to learn why the Romblon Cathedral is worth adding to your bucket list!
Officially known as the Saint Joseph Cathedral Parish, the Romblon Cathedral is considered the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the province. In 2001, the cathedral was one of the 26 colonial churches declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Founded in 1635, the Romblon Cathedral has undergone several constructions and repairs since it was frequently raided by Moro pirates. It all started after a Christian community was organized where the Romblon Cathedral stands.
In 1644, the Portuguese Recollect Agustin de San Pedro, or El Padre Capitan, led the church construction. After the church and belfry were built, the locals also trained to defend against Moro raiders. Around the 18th century, most of the structure was constructed, encompassing what the cathedral looks like today. Meanwhile, the Retablo Mayor was built in 1763 with two smaller retablos. The additional level of the belfry was built in 1727.
The façade of the Romblon cathedral features a Baroque style, and the entire structure is built with blocks and bricks carved using coral stones, making it last up to this day. It also boasts a wide range of aesthetics, from the Byzantine altar and stained-glass windows to antique statues and sacred paintings. In the present day, its centuries-old copper bells are still in use. It also has a towering belfry that serves as a watchtower to alert locals against incoming invaders.
Best Time to Visit
If you’re adding this cultural relic to your things to do in Romblon, the best time to visit Romblon Cathedral is during its mass hours. The church is not open to the public if scheduled mass gatherings are not taking place. On the contrary, you may explore its exterior vicinity without mass. So you can appreciate its deep history and majestic architecture solemnly.
Every March 19, the parish also honors the feast day of Saint Joseph. Moreover, the locals and nearby islands celebrate the fiesta of Santo Niño, the patron saint of Romblon, every 2nd week of January. It’s a great time to visit to experience the traditional festivities in Romblon. For the latest mass schedule of Romblon Cathedral, check the Facebook page of Saint Joseph Cathedral Parish Romblon.