Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baguio Cathedral Church

Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral
Mount Mary, Cathedral Loop, Baguio City
by lakwatserong tatay

This majestic church located in top of a hill and in the heart of the City of Baguio, is one of the more familiar icons and most visited landmarks of Baguio. But only few people know that the Baguio Cathedral Church is actually named the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral.

Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral
The rose-colored Baguio Catholic Cathedral,  has beautiful structure that has twin spires and is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. From Session Road it is accessible by pedestrians who ascend a long concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps. Visitors and churchgoers who would rather avoid the difficult climb drive vehicles through an access road which passes behind the nearby post office building.

Church Altar
History of  Baguio Cathedral Church:

Based from destined to have a blessed and magnificent church as a haven for Catholic lineage, Baguio has made it way successfully to this Church with the invaluable missions of three CICM (Congregacio Immaculati Cordis Marriae) missionaries who started it all.

Rev. Fr. Oktaaf Vandelwalle,
Fr. Serafin Devesse and
Fr. Henry Verbeck,

whole heartedly rendered their services to begin a mission on the famous resort city in the Philippines, Baguio City.

As they have arrived here on November 16, 1907 were warmly welcomed by Mr. Petrelli in La Trinidad Valley, they have also relished the spirits of many Catholic Inhabitants in Baguio City, for their mission was to build a Catholic Church on the house of a respected retired treasurer along Session Road, As a matter of fact, the first baptism recorded was held on the living room of this house which turned out to be a temporary chapel dedicated to St. Patrick. The said baptism was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Oktaaf Vandelwalle on a child named Wiliam Lewis on November 25, 1907.

The Virtuous Baguio mission was made possible on a residence along the session road and with great sincerity and humbleness, Fr. Serafin Devesse stood blissfully, as the First rector of the mission.

In 1908, he remodeled the retired treasurer’s house into a chapel, a convent as well as a school for boys. By 1911, more and more students came streaming to this school for boys which is now recognized as the Saint Louis University. And as the years flew swiftly, this school has grown into a very vast one. Not only for boys but also for girls as well. On the blessed day of October 5, 1953 Fr. Florimund Carlu was appointed as the next mission rector for the Baguio mission. He enlarged the chapel, Fr Serafin Devesse has started for four more times. This was great because a great number of people are going to the Church every now and then. This was again dedicated to St. Patrick, which turned out to be a patron Saint of Baguio.
By 1919 F. Carlu also started the campaign for the construction of the “Church on top of the hill”, this hill is also called Mount Mary.

Baguio Cathedral would not also be completed perfectly without the invaluable help and support of Rev. Fr. Leo Valdemans, CICM who is at the same time an architect and engineer and thus drafted the design of Cathedrals plan.
A great help was also contributed by Fr. Adolph Cansse, a recognized civil engineer who implemented Fr. Valdeman’s plans. Fr Paul Watson, the founder of the church unity octave who donated $12.00 whole heartedly, and of course the two CICM brothers and 25 Igorot carpenters who gave their full support and strength for the magnificent construction of the Cathedral.

In 1924, the twin towers of the Cathedral were successfully built. Also, the Holy Sanctuary and Altar were splendidly ready. Due to this fact, four bells from Belgium soon arrived. They were gracefully donated by two of Fr. Carlu’s friends, Messrs. Hausermann and Bean, who was both non-Catholics. Three of these bells were installed placed in the Cathedral while the other must have been both to other Church, the three bells that were installed were given names in great honor to some of our saints. They were named Me Fudit ,,, St. Johannes/St. John… Baguio MCMXXXII, Me Fudit ,,, Patricius Patronus Civitatus Baguio/ St. Patrick, patron of Baguio City ,,, Baguio MCMXXXII and Me Fudit ,,, St. Walterius ,,, Baguio MCMXXXII, In connection with these great Imp.

One of the side altar's

The choir's place together with their Bamboo organ instrument

Church confession area

My co-trippers praying for a safe trip

Center Isle of the Church

They were kids that having their communion the day we visited Baguio Catheral Church

Cathedral's Church Marker

Schedule of Catholic Masses at the Baguio Cathedral:

The Baguio Cathedral is said to have been able to accommodate up to 850 persons for a single Mass, although I am pretty sure that includes those inside on both floors, and those outside where loudspeakers have been set up in order to accommodate a standing room only crowd, expecially on Sundays.

Masses are celebrated in English except when Ilocano or Tagalog are indicated:

Sundays &                               6:00 am                      4:00 pm
Holidays of Obligation            7:00 am                      5:00 pm
                                                  8:00 am (Ilocano)    6:00 pm
                                                  9:00 am (Tagalog)
                                                  10:00 am
                                                  11:00 am
Saturdays                                 6:00 am                     5:00 pm
                                                  7:00 am
Mondays Thru Fridays          6:00 am                     5:15 pm

** Confession with communal penitential celebration every Friday of the week from 3:00 pm onwards.

Weddings and Funerals: by appointment
Baptism: Registration hours
                 10:00 am - Saturdays and Sundays

Individual Confession: by appointment

Parking Spaces on the sides of the Church

Parking is free during Mass hours, and for the first hour for visitors and tourists on ordinary days.

However, since most Baguio residents, office workers and visitors to Session Road leave their cars in the Cathedral parking lot for hours at a time, all week-long, they have decided in recent years to charge a nominal parking fee of about Php20.00/hour on the 2nd hour onwards, which I think is only fair.

Other side of Baguio Cathedral Church

Baguio Cathedral Church
Here is the information how you could contact Baguio Cathedral Church:

Church Address: Mount Mary Hill, Cathedral Loop, P.O. Box 44, Baguio City 2600

Tel. No. :   (074) 442-4256
Fax No. :   (074) 304-2064

Email add.:

Some of the statues could be found outside the Cathedral Church of Baguio
One of our Lord's statue can be found in Candle prayer area
Church's Candle Prayer Area
Here are some tips when you visit Baguio Cathedral Church:

If you do not like the feeling walking up and down for more than a hundred steps to the Baguio Cathedral, an easy way to get there on foot from Session Road would be to climb the escalators at the CICM-owned Porta Vaga Shopping Mall, exiting at the top floor that leads to the Baguio Cathedral parking grounds. Since the Church and Porta Vaga Mall share same owner and general location, they also share the same parking lot, where a modest parking fee is charged for vehicles beyond the first hour.

Baguio Cathedral is the biggest catholic church in the city and the center of religious activities such as during the Holy Week when thousands of devotees from Metro Manila and the provinces come up to the city. During Sundays and other special holidays of the catholic church, you will find some vendors along the stairway and also at the church's open patio selling flowers, balloons, newspapers, sweepstake tickets, candles, rosary beads, and other religious articles. Churchgoers and visitors that are desiring to visit Baguio on a tour should avoid coming up to the city during this religious week. Not only is the city crowded with people, it is difficult to find rooms in hotels and inns and the prices of native handicraft, souvenirs, vegetables, flowers, food, and other commodities & services are rather expensive.

This is my 11th time in Baguio !!!!!!!!!


Pinoy AdvenTurista said...

this post is very informative. thank you for sharing...

Chyng said...

very informative indeed, pwede ng leaflet for tourists! hehe

I'd be happy to join you in 1 of your trips. sana wag hardcore trail, hindi ko kasi keri yun. im lampa.. ^-^


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