Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Angels and of Saint Vitales

Official Name: Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish Church of Saint Vitalis and of the Guardian Angels of Cebu[1]

Classification Status: Marked Structure, NHCP[1]

Town or City: Cebu City

Year Declared: 1595[1]

Other Declarations: Registered Property, Cebu City[1]


The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, officially named the Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of St. Vitalis and of the Immaculate Conception, serves as the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in the Philippines. Cebu became a diocese on August 14, 1595, and was elevated to a metropolitan archdiocese on April 28, 1934, with several dioceses as suffragans. The church, originally dedicated to St. Vitalis, was built in April 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, Fray Andrés de Urdaneta, and Fray Diego de Herrera.

Construction of the cathedral faced numerous delays due to funding issues, interruptions, and the impact of the Moro wars. The cathedral showcases typical Spanish colonial church architecture, featuring sturdy walls to withstand typhoons. Its facade boasts a trefoil-shaped pediment adorned with floral motifs, an IHS inscription, and the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms above the entrance.

During World War II, Allied bombings destroyed much of the cathedral, leaving only the belfry, facade, and walls intact. It was subsequently rebuilt in the 1950s under the guidance of architect Jose Ma. Zaragosa and Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.

In 1982, a mausoleum was constructed behind the sacristy to serve as the final resting place for Cebu's bishops and clergy. The cathedral was renovated in 2009 to mark the 75th anniversary of Cebu's elevation to an archdiocese. An application is pending at the Vatican to elevate the cathedral to a minor basilica in honor of St. Vitalis, coinciding with the feast day of Sto. Niño de Cebu and Cebu's archdiocese anniversary.

The current cathedral rector and moderator of the team of pastors is Camilo Alia, succeeding Ruben Labajo, who became an Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu. The cathedral serves the civil barangays of Tinago, San Roque, Santo Niño, T. Padilla, Day-as, Tejero, and Parian in Cebu City.[2]