The Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker is the main seat of the Catholic faith in Bohol, with the church bearing the name of the province’s patron saint.
St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral is located on Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tagbilaran City—the capital of the province of Bohol. It stands within the same area where the city hall and the city plaza are located, a typical setting based on Spanish influence in the country.
Also called the Tagbilaran Cathedral, the church’s history dates back to the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries in the Philippines in 1595. In 1768, the Recollects took over the parish from the Jesuits, but since the fire that razed the church in 1798, the cathedral has undergone a series of improvements.
The renovations resulted in an all-new structure, leaving no trace of the original church’s themes or motif. However, there remains a record of all priests who have served the parish from 1742 to the present, which can be seen by the cathedral’s entrance.
The façade of the present cathedral exudes a Neo-Romanique architectural design, characterized by basic corbelled arches and streamlined windows. A statue of St. Joseph holding the infant Jesus stands in front, where a small obelisk used to be.
Inside, the walls of the cathedral are adorned with wooden and historic images. The altar shows 18th century images of St. Joseph the Worker on the center, flanked by San Roque (St. Roch) and St. Vincent Ferrer on the opposite sides. Above St. Joseph’s throne, there’s an image of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes), which is said to be a donation from the Royal House of Spain’s Dona Maria de Bourbon.
At the back of the cathedral, a 3-storey rectory sits on a cliff overlooking Tagbilaran Bay as well as the town of Dauis farther away.