Another must-see in the province of Nueva Vizcaya is the St. Dominic Cathedral in the capital town of Bayombong. It was said that the first mass was celebrated here on April 12, 1739 that was officiated by Fray Pedro Freire, in the church of St. Augustine. It was in only in September 8, 1739 when the Augustinians relinquished its mission to the Dominicans when this church was re-dedicated; to St. Dominic de Guzman.
As stated on the marker, "From 1773-1792, Fray Juan Crespo constructed the church, the octagonal tower, the convent and the cemetery next to the church in bricks".
"From 1798 to 1806 and from 1820 to 1829, Fr. Juan Molano added the fifth storey of the tower and the cone above it. In 1880, the church was damaged by an earthquake but not the tower."
On November 15, 1982, Msgr. Alberto Van Overbeke CICM, became the first Bishop of the Diocese of Bayombong, the church became known as St. Dominic Cathedral."
The church was razed by fire twice and was rebuilt on the same site. It is now approximately twice as big as its original size. With the facade and the bell tower remained form the original stone church.
It was already late in the afternoon when I went here. I just spent about an hour taking photos and observing the people enjoying the small park in front of the church. I envy the slow-paced life that they have here!
You could also check out the People's Museum and Library near the church. A former municipal building that showcases the rich history, culture and tradition of the tribes of Nueva Vizcaya.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Manila, take an air-conditioned bus (Florida Bus Lines, Baliwag Transit, Victory Liner, etc.) bound for Cagayan Valley, it passes by the province of Nueva Vizcaya via the Maharlika hi-way and get off at the town of Bayombong. Travel time is approximately 6 hours by land from Metro Manila.
This is part of my 3-day trip to the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Isabela that happened last March 2-4, 2012. Join me as I explore the cultural treasures and interesting sights of Nueva Vizcaya, the 55th province on my list!
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