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San Diego Pro-cathedral

The San Diego Pro-cathedral, formerly known as the San Diego Parish Church or the St. Didacus Parish Church before its declaration as a pro-cathedral in 1994, is an early 20th century church in Silay City, Negros Occidental.

by Jhaypee Guia on July 07, 2012
San Diego Pro-cathedral


The San Diego Pro-cathedral, formerly known as the San Diego Parish Church or the St. Didacus Parish Church before its declaration as a pro-cathedral in 1994, is an early 20th century church in Silay City, Negros Occidental. It is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital of Manila, and is unique in Negros Occidental for being the only church in the province featuring a cupola or dome.


The parish of Silay was established in 1776 and its first church was built of light materials: bamboo, cogon grass and nipa palm. In 1841, then-parish priest Fr. Eusebio Locsin initiated the construction of a more permanent structure made of stone and wood. In 1925, work began on a grander structure meant to replace the old church. Don Jose R. Ledesma, a resident of Silay and a wealthy sugar baron, donated a substantial portion of the funds needed to build the new edifice. The rest of the money was raised through popular contribution, including fund-raising by school children.

Don Jose Ledesma commissioned an Italian architect, Lucio Bernasconi to design the new church. Bernasconi was also responsible for the design and construction of the Silay Wharf, which was razed by Imperial Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Bernasconi took the churches in his native Italy as the model for the Silay church. The church's layout is in the shape of a Latin cross, with a cupola rising forty meters above the nave. Construction was completed in 1927, and the new church was inaugurated that same year.

Patron saint

The San Diego Pro-cathedral is named in honor of Didacus of Alcalá, the Franciscan saint more commonly known in the Philippines as San Diego de Alcalá. A local historian has conjectured that San Diego was given as a patron saint to the early settlement that became Silay by Fr. Diego Gomez de Covarrubias when he became the parish priest of the neighboring settlement of Bago, and Silay was his visita – a settlement he was responsible for attending to as a visiting priest.


On December 25, 1994, then-Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod, Monsignor Camilo Gregorio declared the San Diego Parish Church a pro-cathedral. Hence, it is similar to the Archdiocese of Dagupan-Lingayen, Pangasinan.


Here is the list of some hotels and inns that can be found in the province where tourist can enjoy and stay overnight when touring the province of Negros Occidental. Enjoy your vacation and happy trip!

  • Nature's Village Resort 

Talisay City, Talisay City, Bacolod / Negros Occidental, Philippines 6115

  • L’ Fisher Hotel

14th Lacson Sts., Bacolod City

  • Hotel Pagcor Bacolod

Goldenfield Complex, Bacolod City

  • Business Inn Hotel

28 th South Lacson St. , Bacolod City

  • Bacolod King’s Hotel

San Sebaslian-Gatuslao Sts , Bacolod City

  • Regency Tourist Inn

Lacson Ext. Bacolod City

  • Pearl Manor Pension

North Drive-Lacson St. Bacolod City


Negros Occidental can be reached through its capital, the highly urbanized City of Bacolod, which is 55 minutes from Manila and 30 minutes from Cebu by air. By sea, it is an 18-hour cruise from Manila and one hour aboard sea crafts from Iloilo. By land-and-sea travel, it is seven hours from Cebu. From Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Bacolod is 5 hours away via Mabinay in the south, and via San Carlos City in the north: 6 hours via the coastal road and 5 hours via the Translink highway in Don Salvador Benedicto.

Big and medium-sized buses, both aircon and non-aircon, ply the northern and southern parts of the province, with terminals in Bacolod. Car rental services are available for travel to any point of the island. Air-conditioned, metered taxis are numerous in Bacolod, but the jeepney is still the most common means of transport among the towns and cities.

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