Location: Bishop Vicente T. Ataviado Street, Maasin City, Southern Leyte, Philippines
Note: This is a part of my 4-day Maasin City Trip which includes: Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption at Jalleca Hills, Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Cathedral of Maasin, Maasin City Tour, Saint Francis Javier Shrine and Canigao Island.
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Cathedral is one of the Philippines' national historical landmarks. It was consecrated in 1771. As seen today, it has a baroque architectural design which is evident with its facade. The Jesuit missionary priests who initially built the church in the 1700 had named the church then as Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion de Maasin.
Being originally built in 1700, the church is believed to be one of the oldest parishes of the country which was established by the series of waves of missionaries, namely: the Jesuits, Augustinians and finally by the Franciscan Order. As revealed by its archive, the church has suffered several destruction and damage over the years, but has been rebuilt many times by the orders succeeding the Jesuits.
Its present-day structure is constructed at 1968 and subsequently became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin which covers the municipalities of Southern Leyte, including the towns of Matalom, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Baybay of the province of Leyte.
The cathedral like any other established Spanish town, has been built at the center of the city which is located near the City Hall,schools and other government offices. It is presently close to the establishments of the city, thus, it is accessible and its plaza is even used to host the town's cultural activities all year round.
In my 4-day stay in Maasin City, I attended three holy masses in the cathedral. I used to pass the church whenever I go to the boulevard overlooking the sea where people have a leisurely afternoon and evening walk and enjoy nightlife from the bars and restaurants in that district.
The present design which was completely on March 23, 1968 heavily borrows from the characteristics of baroque churches in the Philippines, with its traditional triangular pediment and simple facade punctuated by rectangular niches for the images and windows. However, a seemingly modern style was applied as shown by its rounded, three-layered bell tower which is a common feature among late 18th century churches.
From its historical accounts, I learned that by 1920s until 1930s, the parish was placed in the care of the diocesan priests of Cebu. It was then transferred to the Diocese of Calbayog and Diocese of Palo, until in 1968, it became the cathedral seat of the Diocese of Maasin on August 1. Imagine, Calbayog is so far from Maasin. Calbayog City is my hometown, anyway.
Below is the schedule of masses of the Cathedral from Monday to Sundays.
HOW TO GO THERE
The nearest airports to Maasin are Cebu City, Ormoc City and Tacloban City. But plying from Cebu City would require you to board a ship from Cebu City's Pier 4 to cross to Hilongos, Southern Leyte for P286 which is around 5-6 hours sea travel of which we boarded M/V Joyful Stars. Then from Hilongos to Maasin is a bus service of P87 for more than 1 hour road travel.
If you are coming from Ormoc City, then it is approximately 3 hours drive for 131.9 kilometers via Baybay-Inopacan Road for a fare of P150. While if you are coming from Tacloban City Airport, then it is approximately 4 -5 hours drive at P270 for 194.8 kilometers via Bato - Bontoc Road and Eastern Nautical Highway.
If you opt to take a land travel via Bicol Peninsula and Samar, take Pintados Airconditioned Bus for P1,688 fare including ferry fare in Matnog (Sorsogon)-Allen/Alegria (Northern Samar) crossing or with the same route with Philtranco airconditioned buses for P1,706 excluding the ferry fare. This is either coming from Cubao or Pasay terminals to Maasin City. The travel time is approximately 26 - 28 hours excluding the waiting time for the availability of the ferry boat from Matnog to Allen.
If you are already in the city of Maasin, you can take tricycle to go to the church. If you want to familiarize the city, walking is a good alternative. After all, the city is not that big.