Bauan Cathedral, located in the center of town of Bauan, Batangas, across the town plaza shared a long history with the town itself. It is interesting how the church evolved throughout the centuries.
The first church of Bauan was not located at the present site. Since the Mission of Bauan was a visita (Spanish colony) of Taal, the first church was built along the southern shores of Taal Lake in a place called Tambo.
Bauan Parish was founded on May 17, 1590 as Lumang Bauan (Old Bauan) and became an independent parish on May 12, 1596.
Since its foundation, the Bauan Parish has been relocated three times.
1667 – Fr. Jose Rodriguez built another church in a place called Durungao to escape the violent eruptions of Taal Volcano.
1671 – Fr. Nicolas de Rivera relocated the church to Loual.
1692 – Another church was built near the sea during the administration of Fr. Simon Martinez.
1694 – A typhoon damaged the church.
1695 to 1697 – Fr. Ignacio Mercado rebuilt the church. Then the church was damaged again.
1700 to 1710 – Fr. Blas Vidal built a stone structure.
1762 – Fr. Jose Victoria started building the present church and construction continued for years. Then Fr. Jose Trevino added the convent.
1772 – Fr. Jose Trevino also added the magnificent, hexagonal domed bell tower.
1788 – Fr. Alberto Tabores installed a huge bell in the tower.
1848 – Fr. Manuel del Arco put the stone fence of the atrium with wrought iron columns.
1870 – The tower and the choir loft were destroyed.
1874 – The tower and the choir loft were repaired and a clock was also installed.
1881 to 1894 – Its façade was completed by Fr. Hipolito Huerta who also worked on the transept and was completed by Fr. Felipe Bravo. Final decorations were applied starting in 1881 under the direction of Fr. Moises Santos and continued until 1894 under Fr. Felipe Garcia. The Bauan Cathedral was the most artistically built church in Batangas.
1898 – However, the church burned down during the Philippine revolution against Spain and then completely rebuilt.
1938 – It was destroyed by fire again and then was restored again.
During WWII, the Japanese seized the Bauan Cathedral and the convent next to it. They used the convent to store their supplies. They dug a tunnel from the back of the church all the way to the bridge at the next town.
The church houses the Holy Cross of Bauan, the patron saint of the town. The cross was found in 1595 by local natives in a place called Dingin, near Alitagtag and installed later in Bauan Cathedral. Bauan has their town fiesta on May 3 and Alitagtag has theirs on May 7. Both honor the same patron saint which is the Holy Cross.