Basilan Cathedral

This is St. Isabel Cathedral or St. Elizabeth of Portugal Cathedral located in Isabela City in Basilan Province. It is more popularly known as Santa Isabela Cathedral to locals.  The cathedral parish of St. Elizabeth of Portugal is the seat of the Prelature of Isabela.

Many say that this place is most susceptible to bomb explosions brought about by some Muslim extremist in Southern Philippines. But it’s not always the case. The bombing happened only once, in 2010.

The cathedral was consecrated on June 1970 and occupies an area of 1,100 square meters. The facade of the church features a brise soleil (reduces heat) installations. Stained glass windows are placed at the upper center of the church facade and along the cathedral’s lateral walls. The sanctuary is host to a large mosaic of Christ flanked by the twelve apostles, six on each side.  The mosaic is imported from Italy.

The Cathedral is located fronting the Twin Parks and few meters away from the Provincial Capitol.

According to history, the Augustinian Recollects were the pioneers in opening a mission in Basilan province. As part of their mission, they have been crossing the Basilan Strait from Zamboanga in mainland Mindanao and established the parish sometime in 1850. In 1862, the mission of Basilan was turned over to the Society of Jesus. In 1963, the Prelature of Isabela was established with territories coming from the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

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