The San Pedro Cathedral is the oldest church found in Davao City. It was built during the Spanish Colonization by Don Jose Uyanguren, a popular Spanish Conquistador of Davao back in 1847. Up to this day, it is still considered one of the most spectacular cathedrals built during the Spanish regime.
The San Pedro Church is one of the few churches in the country that has the special protected status of National Cultural Treasures as bestowed by the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts. That alone speaks of the historical significance of the cathedral, as well as the impact of its regional and geographical influences amidst the land that is largely dictated by the Muslim culture and beliefs.
The cathedral has modern-looking exteriors of a distinct frontal curved perception made of solid concrete. First-time visitors may doubt if it is really a church or not. To this date, the original altar can still be seen in the right wing of the church. It has been meticulously preserved as a gesture of respect to the beauty and authenticity of the church. The interiors remain amazingly crafted with the original carvings of the images of various saints, mostly images of San Pedro or St. Peter. The most spectacular point of the entire church is in how unbelievably preserved everything looks, from the altar right down to the statues. The cathedral underwent a renovation to extend the church further, which is just as impressive when you see the result. Another notable sight within the vicinity is the bell tower in the garden, which is where the Ten Commandments and an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary are placed. A statue of the Mother Mary with the dead body of Jesus on her lap is noticeable as well.
Tourists who love taking pictures will find the San Pedro Cathedral a picturesque sight from every angle. Outside the church, dozens of vendors can be found selling all kinds of religious items such as rosaries, candles, prayer books, beads, novena pamphlets and scapulars. An even more pleasant experience is when a section of the street is closed to traffic every Sunday to allow the passage of hundreds of churchgoers. From the solemn tranquility amidst the hundreds of mass hearers inside the church, to the chaotic and colorful items that entice children outside the church, Sundays at the San Pedro Church are always good for a visit.
The church is located at the corner of San Pedro Street and CM Recto Avenue in Davao City. It was named after San Pedro, the patron saint of the city and can be found at the heart of the city of Davao. It won’t be hard to miss and getting there is a breeze. Hail a jeepney or cab headed towards the City Hall and you’ll notice the church right across the Davao City Hall.
With the heavy presence of mosques and temples in Davao, the San Pedro Cathedral is just a distinct touch of the dominant religion of the Filipinos. Tourists should consider visiting this cathedral to grasp the authenticity and originality of a church that has withstood time and its vicissitudes.