Visiting Bacolod the First Time

First time visits are always memorable. It took me awhile before I was able to visit Bacolod City, popularly known as the City of Smiles. It was only this August, when the Philippine Society of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology had their annual convention in Sanctuario de San La Salle was I able to visit this wonderful city.

First on my must-see list was the San Sebastian Cathedral. The tall church is along Rizal Street in downtown Bacolod about 10 kilometers from the airport. Amidst the busy avenue stands the cathedral, originally built in 1876 mostly out of coral stones. The architecture is similar to churches built by the Augustinian Recollect friars in the country. You can observe that the center of the church’s facade is an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the center.

On one side of the church stand two massive bells which form part of four original bells mounted at the original belfry in 1979. The bells are of historical value because they were instrumental in warning the people in 1898 of the “Cinco de Noviembre” or the start of the revolution in Bacolod.

The aisle leading to the altar was said to be simplified during the reconstruction in the 1930s and is now adorned with spanish chandeliers in the center. Small pillars built on spanish arches are built at the side. On the altar is an image of the Risen Christ.

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