Negros Occidental

Unfinished Cathedral in Negros Occidental

This is the huge Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception located in Canetown, Victorias. This cathedral is located within the compound of Victorias Integrated Sugar Milling Company. The cathedral is still unfinished. It’s construction started in mid-90s.

Locals say that this is a “curse” church. The gigantic edifice has been commissioned by rich people who wanted to “buy heaven and salvation”. As a mater of fact, its construction was not approved by the Church authorities.

The financiers of this huge structure wanted to prove that they can “buy Vatican” and name the church a “basilica” .

They have built the edifice in such a grand scale that when finished, it is among the biggest churches in the country and could stand a massive earth quake and could last for hundreds of years.  It is not difficult to believe so because its solid walls are a meter thick and its column are even more massive.

And since God is not a materialistic God, the financiers of the church found themselves nowhere. They have lost their businesses and families. They have lost financial prowess. They were the victims of the economic turmoil that hit Victorias. And for those reasons, the church is still unfinished, never became a cathedral, never became a basilica and never dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.  Interestingly, no one wanted to pour in money to finish its construction until today. No further efforts have been made to finish its construction after the economic turmoil that hit the area.

Today, a Sunday mass is held in this church.

People call it the Unfinished Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. But in reality, it is never a cathedral as no archbishop or bishop has ever lived there. It is not even a Parish Church as it does not have its own parish priest and jurisdiction, it is not even a Barangay Chapel as the barangay has its own chapel. Today, it remains an edifice that reminds all of us that greed and material things aren’t tickets to heaven.


From Bacolod City North Terminal, take a bus going to Victorias City or San Carlos and get off at Victorias Milling Company (VMC) junction.  From the junction, take a tricycle going to the Unfinished Cathedral.

54 replies »

  1. wow really? an unfinished cathedral.. even if it’s not an actual church or parish, i think, like you said, this edifice makes a very wonderful addition to the province – for historical values and as a moral or spiritual reminder to all who sees it.

      • The Ruins in Talisay City was just a wasted edifice until people came to realize its cultural and historical value. This “unfinished” cathedral can be one like The Ruins. Demolishing it will just be a case of ” possible waste to total waste” since to do so will also cost a lot of money.

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  2. Nice reading the back story of the church but I’m sure it’s just a coincidence rather than a curse as it still should be a place of worship at the end of the day. It looks like a great architectural work though I hope one of these day someone or even the church try to finish this one but then again, it’s beautiful as it is.

  3. 3 meters solid wall is a sure earthquake beater. I hope they will finish the structure. It can a be great landmark for Bacolod. Now, I’ve got to see this, if given the chance to go to Bacolod again. The last time I was there was sometime in 2004.

  4. They should seriously continue its construction. I hope some people there can still raise the funds to finish this. There is no sense having such a beautiful looking edifice just be demolished. Calling it a curse is fatalistic.

    • hehe. people there even dont want to attend mass here. they dont even want to talk about it. to continue these massive structure needs alot of funds. its not a simple church. its a massive church with 3 meter solid walls

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    • My wife and I together with our Catechist group from Dasmarinas, Cavite visited this church last December 7, 2013. There was a big event there, the first holy communion for so many children of the community. So many people attended the mass and the ceremony. I even met my fellow Knights of Columbus there and Father Jomar, himself. I am sure it will not be a “coral ng baka” anymore. Truly, God works in His mysterious ways!!!

      • I will take permission to the city of Victoria to hold my Wedding in front of this Church, memorable event with my wife, very nice place to make an event like wedding.

  5. I will be going to Bacolod next year. I will try to see this place too. Interesting story and if it’s true I am sad because a church should be a place of worship and not as status symbol.

  6. My mom’s from Bacolod, but it’s been a while since I’ve last visited the province 🙂 Anyway, thank you for sharing this and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. May you and your family have good health and prosperity this 2013.

  7. It’s sad to learn this edifice is viewed as “cursed” by some people. But good always triumphs over evil. Given that this structure could have started wrongly, there is no reason why it couldn’t be continued today by people or Catholics with the purest intentions of doing it for the glory of God. I believe the construction could not proceed more due to legal matters such as ownership and/or political reasons. We are visiting Victorias City on Dec 8 which is the feast of the Immaculate Conception and I would surely want to visit this place and attend the mass, if given the opportunity.

    • Hi Richard,

      Mass here is held every sunday only. Yes, you’ll enjoy its rustic beauty. On the other hand, I suppose the Diocese of Bacolod or the people here wont continue this anymore as its construction was “personal” and was never under the approval and supervision of the church. Hence, the budgeting, engineering, etc was solely on the persons who put this up. And since their business went downhill, they no longer have resources to continue it. If the Diocese of Bacolod will continue it, i think they dont have the authority as this is a private property.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      • Hi Nik,

        May I know what time are the Sunday masses held and is there a special mass every Dec. 8? As I said in my comment, the snag will be mainly due to legal matters. There was a similar experience in Laguna where the church is located in a subdivision and there was a bitter rivalry between factions of the homeowners that even the bishop was charged in court when the diocese tried to intervene. Of course, it took years but in the end, the church was constructed and it is now one of the most beautiful church and successful parish in Laguna. God prevails and as I said, good triumphs over evil.

          • Finally I was able to visit the unfinished cathedral last Dec 7, 2013. I was overwhelmed with its size. It was really huge. Also, it was a good sign that there was a First Holy Communion ceremony for so many kids when we were there. Got to meet Fr. Jomar and my brother Knights. It is an indication that somehow, sometime in the future, this church will be completed…in God’s time.

  8. wow I was living in Canetown when it was being built hindi pa la natapos. I found it weird they were building such a huge church there because Canetown is like a subdivision. I would have understand if it was in the middle of the city. If I recall correctly Victorias was still a town and not a city yet. I might have even serve a mass there as a knights of the altar from Don Bosco

  9. I had a dinner with Engr. Lito Tanutan last December 2015. He is from Victorias. He mentioned that the “Cathedral” is being constructed gradually. This means it was not totally abandoned after all. God will provide. Completion will be in His time.

  10. Preceding comment was from me. Can anyone from Canetown or VMC update me. I would like to visit the church again.

  11. Judging from the design of the altar, it seems like the plan for the church is pre-war and that construction just followed on a later date.

    The church hews closely to a design by Dante Guidetti of a church to be built in Negros. Guidetti was an Italian artist/sculptor who resided in Cebu before Word War II.

    I wrote a piece with a picture of the church here in my blog,

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