It’s easy to miss this spectacular church when passing through Gumaca, Quezon, especially if you’re not concerned about dropping by any place of interest along the way to Mayon Volcano or to the butanding of Donsol, Sorsogon. Even if you’re looking for historical places along the way, you’d be too concerned which way to turn in the busy main intersection of this town.
The Gumaca Cathedral, or formally the Cathedral of San Diego de Alcala, is the biggest and oldest church in the province of Quezon. Established in 1582, it was burned in 1665 by the Dutch forces. It is currently found in Brgy. San Diego Poblacion, town of Gumaca, Quezon province.
We found the Gumaca Cathedral by sheer coincidence, or a series of coincidence, on our return trip back to Manila from Donsol, Sorsogon. We stopped before the major intersection in Gumaca, as someone has to take a pee at a popular fastfood chain (with thanks). We turned right before the major intersection in order not to cause traffic, but we have to move further inwards because the pickup truck we were with down the bitukang manok was at our back, trying to squeeze through the narrow road to get at another fast food store.
We didn’t realize it was already lunch time and our kid subtly told us he’s really hungry. He has a terrible headache, he said, and it vanished as soon as we said we’ll order food. As someone has to go down to the fastfood store, we had to look for a more suitable parking area. We found a deadend, without any vehicle, so we parked. The deadend is beside the Gumaca Cathedral.
Because we only dropped by places of interest along the road, to save on travel time, we unfortunately missed an interesting national historical site — the San Diego de Alcala Fortress (Kutang San Diego).