I had been passing through this great cathedral while pursuing a PhD degree with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and struck on me the very chord that others felt when seeing a cathedral: modern yet religious, imposing yet gentle, overarching yet tamed. That is how I defined the Metropolitan Cathedral of Zamboanga City.
Designed by the great Napoleon Abueva, Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts, the cathedral beckons hope amidst insecurities, provided refuge amidst uncertainties of the world. Abueva is behind major structures like the Peninsula Manila Hotel, the marble murals of the national heroes at the Samat Shrine in Bataan, and of course, the famous Sandugo in Bohol.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is thus constructed in 1998 and finished in 2002, is dedicated to its patron saint, the Immaculate Concepcion becomes the symbol of hope and a bastion of strength and stability among the peoples of Zamboanga.
By far, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Zamboanga City is the most modern cathedral to date. Though the original cathedral was located in the location near the Plaza Pershing, the new site becomes historic and significantly important to the lives of ordinary residents after it was completed. This structure symbolizes the greatness of the religious in the times of modernity. A mixed between the old and the new.
It’s purity as a church stands in the very design and cleanliness of its design and the effective utilization of every nook and cranny of the structure. Its unconventional architectural design, suffice it to day, becomes the very facade that symbolizes modernity and purity.