Baguio City has been one of the favorite summer vacation spots of the Filipinos mostly due to its many alluring parks and relaxing climate. Many travelers headed to Baguio visit Burnham Park and Mines View to spot the beautiful sceneries of the Philippine highlands. But aside from the lush greenery that Baguio is rich in, the city also has a historical hot spot that is frequented by most tourists as well: the Baguio Cathedral.
Several hundreds of people travel miles just to attend mass at the cathedral. Also called Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, this church has made a mark in Baguio as it used to be place where many Filipinos found shelter in during World War II. It has become one of the more familiar icons and well-visited landmarks of Baguio for its beautiful structure and its distinct twin spires.
The construction of the cathedral began in 1920 under the supervision of Father Florimono Carlu. It took a total of 16 years for the construction and development of the cathedral to finish along with its dedication to Our Lady of Atonement. In 1945 during World War II, many victims of bombing took shelter inside the cathedral, which then contributed much to its historical value. A Catholic mission later decided to renovate parts of the structure to maintain the beauty of the cathedral in year 2006.
Visitors looking for the cathedral can easily identify it because of its enticing pink façade and circular windows. The architecture inside the church remains fascinating as well. The Cathedral also has a spacious courtyard that overlooks the business area of Baguio City. Visitors who would want to see the cathedral can get there in two ways: one is by walking up a stone staircase of more than a hundred steps from Session Road, and the other is by walking from Saint Louis University, which is a school located near the church. Upon reaching the church, a wonderful bird’s eye view of the Session Road and city’s landscape invites guests into the church.
Another interesting feature of the cathedral is its nearby shopping center named Porta Vaga. Many members of the cathedral donated and contributed much to the development of the shopping center. Quite interestingly enough, the main reason for the establishment of the shopping establishment was to create a strong wall to support the building from collapsing in the event that strong earthquakes may occur. For those who want to avoid climbing the steps of the cathedral, an easier way to get there by foot is to climb the escalators of the Porta Vaga Shopping Mall, which has an exit on the top floor that leads straight to the parking grounds of the cathedral.
The cathedral is highly accessible as it is situated right smack in the city center near famous landmarks such as the Session Road and the Cathedral Loop. The church is located near a variety of business establishments such as restaurants, malls and even a commercial market which may encourage even more people to visit the area. With the alluring appearance and historical significance of the Baguio Cathedral, it is something not to miss when visiting the city.