San Sebastian Cathedral

CM Recto Ave., Poblacion, Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines
Tel. No. +63 (43) 981-1160

The Majestic Lipa Cathedral
(photo by Rodin Gabriel Rodriguez)

Administered by the Augustinians beginning April 30, 1605 (and until the end of the 19th century) under the name “Convent of San Sebastian in Comintang” the first church building was made of light materials. The present building of “serious architecture, proven solidity and great proportions” began to be constructed through the concerted efforts of the Augustinians who administered the Parish of San Sebastian and the faithful people of Lipa : in 1779, Fray Ignacio Vasquez Pallares, later on continued by Fray Manuel Galiana in 1787, and its spacious transept completed in 1865 during the term of Fray Manuel Diez Gonzalez.

The church was totally completed from 1865 to 1894 during the administration of Fray Benito Baras to whom Lipeños attribute their religiosity. He was also responsible for the erection of the Catholic Cemetery in Antipolo and, without any aid from the state, the bridge at Sabang, and the road that served as a national highway to Manila and Laguna.

Inside the Cathedral
(photo courtesy of Alexis Paulino)

To protect the big and attractive church from earthquakes, it was made of hewn stone and tiled roof,a rectangular structure with the ceiling constituted of artistically painted wooden paneling in lieu of an arch to which were attached supports and strong beams crisscrossing the walls. Before, it had plain and simple altar ornaments without the extravagant carvings characteristic of the past. During the 19th century, intense competition among the towns of Batangas, Bauan, Lipa, Taal and Tanauan, for the selection of the seat of the new diocese in the Southern Tagalog Region, motivated the people to build extraordinary big churches. However on April 10, 1910, when the historic foundation of the new diocese took place, its first bishop, Most Rev. Joseph Petrelli, D.D, chose LIPA as the SEE because of its cool climate. For this reason, the San Sebastian church automatically became the Cathedral of the Diocese of LIPA.

The Altar of San Sebastian
(photo courtesy of Alexis Paulino)

The church suffered massive damages during the Second World War. During the 1950s, Msgr. Alejandro Olalia spearheaded the restoration– the interior painting retouched and two-side aisles were added. In the year 2000, to prevent the Cathedral’s complete deterioration, immense refurbishments and adornment were lead by then parish priest, Msgr. Alfredo Madlangbayan. All these works for the splendor of the San Sebastian Cathedral were realized through the support, generosity and commitment over the years by countless faithful, many of whom will remain nameless.

The church also features an attracting grand baroque designed pipe organ which is the only one in Batangas Province and one of only 59 units in the Philippines.

The San Sebastian Cathedral is now a synergetic composition of structure for worship, religious art appreciation and functionality.

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(slideshow photos courtesy of Alexis Paulino)


22 Responses to San Sebastian Cathedral

  1. ruth lewis says:

    very to see them, we will for sure go and visit this cathedral when we go to lipa in june. thanks…

  2. Jose Dimaano says:

    how can we get my son’s baptismal certificate, because he need this for his first communion this coming 4th of May, 2012… we’re here in abu dhabi, uae

  3. Franz Capule says:

    sir diyan na ba nagkukumpil ngayon? kung magsadya ba ngayong araw halimbawa, makumpilan din the same day,at anu ano po ang mga requirements?

  4. Pingback: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: Inside (Churches) « mywordwall

  5. april valerio says:

    does the cathedral (san sebastian/lipa) issue certificate for baptismal conducted in sabang (sona) in 1974? pls help me where to get one; my mom says i was baptized at a chapel in sabang (sona) during the barrio fiesta; we left the place since i was 4 and never have gone back for more than 30 yrs now. i will greatly appreciate your response!

  6. john says:

    sino po parish priest ngayon ng lipa cathedral?

  7. Pingback: San Sebastian Cathedral | Atisan

  8. TYRON says:

    cno po ang pinaka unang parish priest ng lipa cathedral?

  9. Pingback: San Sebastian Cathedral, Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines | Ken Reston Photography

  10. Would you be able to retrieve and issue latest Bapismal certificate of those born in 1939 and 1944 ?…..around the chaotic war years

  11. What is your mass schedule on Thursdays? Thanks

  12. maolyn says:

    sino po nag donate ng land para sa lipa cathedral?

  13. Josen says:

    Hi, do you accept group tours for student? I’m a travel agent/ tour operator and i’m looking for additional itinerary for my educational tour “Exploring Lipa, Batangas”. Appreciate if you can revert soon and if possible the requirement/ fee from our end.

    Have a great day ahead!

  14. chris says:

    tuwing kelan po sched ng kumpil at ano requirments?ty po

  15. Pamela Mayo Mano says:

    The restoration looks nice but i grew up, even as a young child, marveling at the sepia color of the ceiling murals. For some reasons I prefer it than the colored versions. Maybe because the old feel, mastery of proper shadows done on the folds of their clothes are amazing, same with the clouds and the whole pictures. For me it was not restored rather a revamp to make it up to date. Historical values got lost along the way. But I commend the people who continually support to make the establishment last.

  16. Pingback: 8 Vacation Ventures That Will Make You Say “Yes” to a House for Sale in Lipa, .Batangas – The Rural Rebound

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