SILAY: SAN DIEGO PRO-CATHEDRAL
The rain doesn’t seem to want to stop and it was getting dark. We needed to head back to Bacolod City, so we took the chance even with a soft drizzle of rain. I was looking forward to visiting the Hofilena House, which was the ancestral house of a classmate from high school. There were just dark clouds and daylight was fading fast. We just had to cut this walking tour short. As we walked along Zamora Street to get to the Rizal Street to wait for a ride back to Bacolod, we could see the grand structure of the San Diego Pro-Cathedral. There was an ongoing mass so I was only able to take shots of the facade of the Cathedral.
The parish of Silay was established in 1776 and their first church was built with bamboo, cogon grass and nipa palm. Lucio Bernasconi was commissioned to to design a new church. In 1925, the construction for a grandeur and more permanent structure began. Money were raised from popular contribution though substantial portion of the funds needed to build the cathedral was donated by Don Jose R. Ledesma, a wealthy sugar baron. The work was completed in 1927 and was inaugurated in the same year. The layout of the church is the shape of a Latin cross with a cupola rising forty meters above the nave. It’s distinctive dome with it’s big cross lighted at night could be seen from the sea and serves as a beacon to seafarers.
It is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital region and is the only church in Negros Occidental with a dome.