Lipa City is considered by many the spiritual capital of Batangas because of the several religious sites that are located here. One of these sites is the San Sebastian Cathedral or simply Lipa Cathedral. More commonly known locally as Katedral, the San Sebastian Cathedral is the center of the Catholic faith in Lipa. Standing at the heart of the bustling metropolis, the Katedral is a quiet oasis open to those who seek a moment of reflection and prayer.
The history of the San Sebastian Cathedral can be dated back to April 30, 1605. It was when the Augustinians built a church using light materials. The magnificent edifice we see today, however, was started to be built in 1779, almost two centuries later. After several renovations, the construction was finally completed in 1894.
In 1910, the city of Lipa was declared the See (or the seat of the bishop). The Diocese of Lipa was born and eventually became an Archdiocese.
During the Second World War, the Lipa Cathedral suffered from major destruction. (Other historic buildings in the city were not spared either. Lipa was devastated after the war.) But a restoration project was begun in the 1950s.
Architecture and Interior
The Katedral is said to have been built in the Romanesque manner. The church has a massive rounded dome, surrounded by enormous walls and columns. Beside the church stands a bell tower.
The nave of the church are flanked by arches. Chandeliers hang from its high ceiling under which lie wooden pews. The windowed dome throws sunlight into the church down to the altar. On the other end of the hall is a tableau of Paschal mystery.
Next to the church is Paseo de San Sebastian, a wide alley separating the church from the admin offices.
How to Get Here
From Manila, you can easily get to the San Sebastian Cathedral by bus. Hop into a bus going to Batangas City and get off at the Lipa Bus stop. From here, you may take a tricycle to the Cathedral. If the bus takes the STAR Tollway, alight at Tambo Exit (Lipa Exit) and take a jeepney.
Driving? Take the SLEX and then the STAR Tollway and exit in Tambo.
Read more about the Lipa Cathedral here.