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Information about St. William Cathedral

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Religious Sites
Saint Williams Metropolitan Cathedral, Brgy. 14, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Distance from center
266 m
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St. William’s Cathedral


One of the more popular landmarks in Ilocos Norte is the St. William’s Cathedral, which stands majestically in its capital, Laoag City. Also known as Laoag Cathedral, it serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Laoag. 

St. William’s Cathedral was originally built as a wooden structure in honor of San Guillermo by the Augustinians in 1580. In 1612, the foundation of the current church was laid, but it was damaged by fire in 1843.

Headed by Engineer Antonio de la Camara and Father Santiago Muniz, the church was restored from 1873 to 1880. In 1936, the façade of the church was renovated. A decade after the church was declared a cathedral in 1961, it had another renovation from 1971-1972.

In 1983, the church was damaged by an earthquake but was completely reconstructed. In 1902, the Philippine Independent Church, led by Gregorio Aglipay, was established to revolt against the Catholic Church. They tried to take over the Catholic churches, but St. William’s Cathedral remained to be in the hands of the Catholic Church under the leadership of Fr. Roman Ver, who was the assistant priest of the cathedral at that time.

How to get here

This beautiful church in the Philippines is located in Brgy. 14 Laoag, Ilocos Norte. In order to get here, ride a tricycle or jeepney bound for Laoag. Ask the driver to drop you off at the cathedral. You can also join a guided Laoag tour that includes this Laoag tourist spot to get here.

Best time to visit

The church is open daily, so you can visit any time of day. You can also join during Holy Week on a pilgrimage tour.

Frequently asked questions

What are the features of St. William’s Cathedral?

St. William’s Cathedral is known for its Italian Renaissance architecture. It is admired for its intricate design incorporated with the local flavor, evident in its capiz windows and wrought iron screens.

How many floors are there in the cathedral?

The two-storey façade of St. William’s Cathedral is supported by two pairs of columns found on each side of the arched entrance. The wooden door is engraved with the Greek words: Alpha and Omega. Atop the façade is a niche that carries the image of the city’s patron saint, San Guillermo el Ermitaño.

What is the significance of the Bell Tower in St. William’s Cathedral?

Less than a hundred meters away from the cathedral is the Sinking Bell Tower that was presumably built after 1707 and is a witness of Ilocos culture and religion. It has survived several minor earthquakes. The bell tower sinks into the ground at a rate of one inch per year, hence the name “sinking” bell tower.

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