Mighty detailed exterior embellishments. Like that furnace-like or chimney-like thing above the facade and roof. I wondered and I still wodner, could it have been a steeple or bell tower of some kind in its original state? Or could it have been just made as a later addition through the years and under various parish priests? Add to that those attic-like protrusions from the roof! Do you see them in the picture? I also wondered what those were/are for, and today I still wonder. There must have been a reason for those things to have been installed up there, whether for aesthetics or any other purpose.
The interestingly funny thing is, none of these can be seen or even discerned from inside the church – save of course for that very usual but lovely dome!
Oh that dome! I learned from many of my travels that in Catholic Churches it is usually installed on churches shaped the cruciform way. The thing is supposed to give illumination to the altar or the front area of the church interiors, using ambient light or the sun’s rays. See, am learning!
There are 6 male saints standing tall up at pedestals on either side of each of the three principal entrances (main, and the two ends of the transepts). Do you know who those are? Sorry, I dont. But it must be interesting to know who they are and why, right?! Soon I will. Just you wait!
Now below Mama Mary but still above the main entrance is like a big wide terrace that is actually the roof or top of the entrance foyer. That area is just behind the choir loft, if your point of view is inside the church. Spacious area and I must say very well maintained as it even has a fairly new ’wall’ topped with lamp posts, planters or flower boxes. I wonder though, who uses this space of the cathedral. Yeah, many churches do also have something like this, but I have the same question, who uses them and what for? Come to think of it, that might just be a fine place for wedding receptions, though I am almost sure, not a few priests or religious groups will call it desecration hehe. A basta, maganda yung lugar na yun!
Lets go inside, shall we?
Its not big! I mean looking at this church from the outside you'd think it is quite a big and spacious one, right? But when you enter, its just two columns of pews and it really looks narrow from main entrance all the way to the altar which, at least, does look wider. It probably is because of the very thick walls? Yeah, all olden churches were built that way by the Spanish friars to ensure they withstood strong winds and even earthquakes. And this one cathedral is proof of that - been standing like so for more than a century I hear, save for a few refurbishments time and again.
Anyway, in this church, the center aisle ’checkerboard’ has been slanted so they look like diamonds instead of squares, AND all the more dizzying due to so many intersecting lines. Not serene to my eyes at all!
Anyway again, physical appearances becomes secondary, as this is a house of worship. I learned a bit more by txtng friends who know more about this church, while I roamed around. One of those is that this is the seat of the most important diocese in the 3rd largest island of the country.