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The Metropolitan Cathedral is located along Burgos St. in Dagupan City, behind an older reconstructed church that is sometimes referred to as the Dagupan Cathedral.
The establishment of the first Catholic church in Dagupan can be traced to as far back as the 1600’s, when a simple structure made up of nipa and bamboo materials was first erected on the site.
It was later updated to a more imposing stone structure in the early 17the century where it was deftly administered by the Dominicans in the province. However the church was destroyed during the Andres Malong uprising in 1660.
In the 19th century, a new church was built over the older frame of the old structure. The new building was made of bricks and nipa shingles, with three naves and a tower on the right of the facade. The front faced the east, over the original plaza.
However in 1892, the church collapsed from a devastating earthquake, and was replaced with another edifice in three years later. The bell tower was rebuilt at various intervals in the years between 1903 to 1914.
May 31, 1964 marks the date when the first stone of the future Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was laid at the back of the old church of Dagupan. The new structure was meant to replace the old church, having been damaged by past earthquakes.
A time capsule was placed inside that first corner stone to commemorate the events of that faithful day. New contributions had to be collected at various points in time due to lack of funds, threatening the discontinuation of the city’s efforts to build the new church.
The old Dagupan church, however, was not to be forgotten, and by 1995 it was finally restored to its present condition.
Today, the community is blessed with two parishes instead of one: the restored church is now called the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, while the new church, which was inaugurated in 1974, is the one referred to as Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.