|San Diego de Alcala Cathedral, a National Historical Site|
However, due to frequent moro raidings, the people transferred to town to Silangan, a town in Alabat Island which faces the former town. But moros, and even the Dutch, did not spared the new town. They were attacked and burned by the Dutch in 1664. Once again, they transferred the pueblo to it's former location in Gumaca's shores for good.
|An old photo of Gumaca from the Franciscan website archives|
Eventually in 1690, the building of what is now the cathedral began. Free communal labor was used; men, women, and even children worked to construct the church. Bricks and coral stones made up the walls and belltower, with lime, water, molasses, and pounded puso-puso as binders. Sturdy lumber and tejas served as it's roof to finish the religious edifice, meant to last for a hundred years.
|The interior with the old retablo and pulpit. Both are now non-existent|
Carvings of seals and emblem adorn the facade. It has three levels, first one having the main portal and two niches. The second level has three windows with new stained glass depicting the Resurrection, Descent of the Holy Spirit, and the Creation of Man. Decorating the windows are different emblems, both royal and religious. A triangular pediment tops it with a central niche bearing the patron saint's image, and is flanked by two blind oculi.
|Facade and belfry|
|Nave and altar. Notice the thick walls, more evident in the left side|
|St. Paul's niche|
|St. Peter's niche|
The retablo, dome, and ceiling are just later additions, which I personally see as distracting and disconnected with the old feel of the church. The intentions were good, but the execution was... you guys be the judge.
|Main altar and dome|
For more photos, click this link:
San Diego de Alcala Cathedral