Edwin B. Lasquite, a photographer shares with us His City’s most admired feature – the biggest Cathedral in The Mindanao Region, as well as what proud Tagumeños. Hope will earn them Pride of Place in the Guinness Book of World Records, the Holy Rosary.
In Southern Mindanao in the City of Tagum, just 55 kilometers north of Metropolitan Davao, in Davao del Norte, stands the pride and joy of many a Tagumeños – the Christ the King Cathedral is known as the biggest in Mindanao Region. Designed like a castle, it stands in two hectares and took 12 years to build. The church was created to celebrate the silver jubilee of the diocese.
Apart from its sheer size and distinctive design the cathedral also features a fountain commemorating the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish, as well as several solemn altars, including a four storey building within the complex which houses a chapel, tabernacle, rectory and a multi-purpose hall. Within the church are skillfully made statues, among which are the artistic works of Luis A-ac of Paete, Laguna. The same artist sculptured the Cross for the Jubilee Year Celebration in Manila in 2000, as well as the statue of the Holy Family used during the World Meeting of families, in the Philippines.
Within the Chapel grounds is a marvel which Tagumeños hope would secure them a place in the Guinness Book of Worlds records. Having an amazing length of 85.5 meters, and weighing 2,815 kilos, the Christ the King Rosary made from magcomo (iron wood), indigenous to the mountains of Davao Oriental and Surigao, is slated to be the world’s biggest. The rosary is a project of the Knights of Columbus Christ the King Assembly, and just like the Cathedral was made in time for the 25th Anniversary of the City of Tagum Diocese in 2005.
All in all the Christ the King Cathedral and its record-breaking Rosary, do not only serve as the local people’s claim to fame. Even more significantly, the two have come to symbolize the exemplary spirituality and sense of community of the proud and faithful Tagumeños, that will endure and test of time.
WELCOME TO THE CHRIST THE KING CATHEDRAL & WORLD’S LARGEST ROSARY
City of Tagum, Davao del Norte, Southern Mindanao, Philippines | Text and Photos by: Edwin B. Lasquite, M.M.
Recently there was concluded the new Seven Wonders of the World and along with the simultaneous concerts for global warming the Live Earth.
Let me take you to the other phase of life which is the Spiritual aspect. On other side of the world in Southern Mindanao where the beloved people and the faithful Diocese of the City of Tagum are making for a history, waiting to be heard that their 85.5 meters Rosary made from the Magcomo (Iron wood) will brought them in the Guinness Book of Records.
On the record the largest rosary is currently held by a School in Brazil it measures 35 meters rosary made of polished coconuts. Then came the School of St. Joseph in Cairo with their 52.9 meters rosary made of over a million balls of Styrofoam (stringing Styrofoam ball together).
Another magnificent works of art is the Cathedral. Where you can see the combination of the ancient and modern architectural design brought together in one. The Christ the King Cathedral known as the biggest Cathedral in Mindanao Region, Philippines.
“A Visit to the World’s Largest Rosary and the Biggest Cathedral City of Tagum, Davao del Norte, Southern Mindanao, Philippines”
World’s Largest Rosary. Weighing 2,815 kilos, this rosary at the Christ the King Cathedral in City of Tagum, Davao del Norte, Island Mindanao, Philippines – could make it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the Largest Roman Catholic Rosary in the whole world. This project of the Knight of Columbus – Christ the King Assembly has a length of 85.5 meters and is made of Magcomo (Iron Wood), native to the mountain of Davao Oriental and Surigao. Felicisimo Luta, faithful navigator of the K of C – Christ the King Assembly, said “this project was in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of City of Tagum in 2005.”
The House of Prayer, This Temple of Worship, The Home in which the Faithful are nourished by God’s Word and Sacraments.
The faithful of the Diocese, City of Tagum dedicated this mother church to the glory of the King of Kings, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese.
The Cathedral stands in a two (2)-hectare lot situated in the southern part – City of Tagum, a city located fifty-five (55) kilometers north of Metropolitan Davao. The heirs of the late Dr. & Mrs. Juan Gonzales donated the land.
We invite you to take a glimpse of the Cathedral, which took twelve (12) years to build.
The design, with two towers like those found in many castles, was chosen immediately associate the Church with Christ the King, the Titular of the Diocese.
Engineer Arturo Agustin started the construction in 1993. When he got sick, Engineer Arlene Adlawan, his project engineer, took over and brought it to completion.
Please join other visitors and worshipers who come to this sacred place seeking to have an encounter with God.
THE FOUNTAIN, FLOW OF GRACE
From the entrance you will see at your left a fountain designed and created by Mr. Rey “Kublai” Ponce Millan. It is situated right in front of the Church. It is inspired by the Gospel account of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish. It depicts the generosity of a boy who shared his two (2) fish and five (5) loaves of bread, which Jesus in turn, blessed and multiplied.
At he base of the fish and the loaves of bread are five (5) angels with basket and fruits and vegetables. They represent the different sectors of the faithful in the BECs’/ GKKs’ and Parishes who unceasingly support the Church through prayer, cash and in-kind offerings. Through their assistance, the Cathedral is now dream come true.
May this work of art remind us that giving of oneself in any form is an expression of out love and devotion to the Church built by Christ in us.
THE ALPHA, THE OMEGA AND THE CROWN
The Crown of the King…Then, now and forever.
If you look at the facade of the Cathedral, from where the fountain is, you will see at the center a gold rimmed Crown and the Alpha and Omega symbols.
The symbols remind us that all entities in the world come from Him whose glory and kingship we honor forever and to Him eventually we go back in humble existence to bless His name and proclaim His praise.
THE TWO HEARTS OF SACRIFICE AND OF LOVE
Mounted on the roof of the NARTHEX are the statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As you may observe, the statues, together with the base, are great size. They stand twenty-seven (27) feet high. Their size pictures how much Jesus and Mary suffered because of their love for us. They remind us that we should love God in return with all our hearts, mind and strength and our neighbor as Christ had loved us.
THE TWIN TOWERS
On both sides of the Cathedral are two (2) towers at a rising height of eighteen (18) meters. They can serve as meeting places for small groups as a viewing deck and place for a speaker of an electronic carillon bell.
STATUES OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
The Pillars of the Church
When in the NARTHEX, you will be greeted by the dominant figures of Saints Peter and Paul. These statues, including all the statues in the Cathedral are artistic works of Luis A-ac from Paete, Laguna. He also sculpted the Jubilee Cross used during the Jubilee Year Celebration in Manila last 2000 and the statue of the Holy Family used during the World Meeting of the Families.
The statues of Sts. Peter and Paul are intentionally placed at the two big posts at the main lobby as an indication of their being the great pillars of the Church. They assumed a breath role in the ancient beginning of the Church.
Saint Peter was made Head of the Apostles and First Pope to guide the Church and was given the keys of Kingdom of Heaven.
Saint Paul, from a persecutor of the early Christians, was made Apostle to the Gentiles. He continues to teach and guide us with his letters to the early Christians communities. The statues were donated by Mrs. Marides and Judge Mary Ann Israel.
My dear visitors, like Saint Peter and Saint Paul, God is also expecting us to do our share in the building of His Kingdom here on Earth.
THE ADORATION CHAPEL
“I am the bread of Life”
As you walk to your right from the main entrance, you will find the Adoration Chapel. This is the place where the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at certain hours of the day. You will see here a painting, which depicts the Emmaus event “and they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:13-35)
May your stay at the Adoration Chapel help you to encounter Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
From the Adoration Chapel to the other end of the NARTHEX is the Sacristy. In the back-ground in the Calvary where Jesus offered His life for our salvation. It reminds the priest that the Eucharist he celebrates is the same sacrifice of Jesus offered in the Calvary. It urges him to celebrate Mass as if it were his first, his last and his only Mass.
STATUES OF ST. LORENZO AND BLESSED PEDRO CALUNGSOD
Filipinos in the Altar of Holiness
From the sacristy, you walk towards the main body of the Church and then turn to your right. There you will see the statues of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Blessed Pedro Calungsod. They are our very own Filipino brothers who raised to the Altar. The statues were donated by Mrs. Genra Manantan and by Fr. Ruben Maybuena.
THE CHRIST THE KING, STATION OF THE CROSS and the HOLY SPIRIT
Once inside the Cathedral, you easily notice the colorful images of Christ the King, the Holy Spirit and the fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross. The images of Christ the King and of the Holy Spirit were done by Fr. Daniel Ranalan and the Station of the Cross was done by Fr. Norman Joseph Omay. All were made of fiberglass.
“I absolve you from your SINS, in the name of the FATHER, and of the Son and of the HOLY SPIRIT, Amen.”
If there are historical items that are found in the Church, they are the (2) confessional boxes which were donated by the University of Sto. Tomas Central Seminary to the Parish of Sto. Nino in Panabo City through the facilitation of its former pastor, Fr. Medel Aseo. These boxes have become silent witnesses to the sacramental encounter and reconciliation between God and human beings of whom many have become priests and bishops. The current past of the said parish, Fr. Jovito S. Niniel, Jr. deemed it worthy that the Cathedral be their rightful home.
Below the fiber glass image of the Christ the King is the Choir Loft. “Choirs must be diligently promoted” provided that “the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly their”
The peak of the ceiling is thirty (30) meters from the floor of the Church. The design is that of the crosses with curved sides.
Prominent in the central part of the background of the Sanctuary is a twelve (12) ft. cross with an eight (8) ft. “CORPUS” (Latin for “BODY”) of Christ. The canopy above the crucifix includes a crown in fold color and the symbols ALPHA and OMEGA. They all relate to the Christ the King, the Titular.
The Crucifix together with the statues of Christ the King and that of the Holy Family were donated by Secretary Rodolfo del Rosario, Sr. and Family.
As the Sanctuary, you can see two (2) towers with the printing of the four (4) Evangelists. They remind of the role of the Holy Gospel in our growth in faith. Like the printing of the Emmaus event and that of the Calvary, the painting of the Four Evangelists is done in canvass and in oil. They were all done by Raffy Quimba (KIMBARA), a college student from the Queen of Apostles College Seminary, City of Tagum.
THE FOUR-STOREY BUILDING
At the back portion of the Cathedral is a four-storey building. On the ground floor is a chapel. It is in its Tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Near the chapel’s altar is the “SACRARIUM”. It is exclusively used for the washing of altar linens and for cleaning sacred vessels. The chapel is very useful for celebrations with a small congregation, especially during ordinary days when the Cathedral is closed. There are twelve (12) tombs in the chapel, which can be resting places for departed bishops and priests.
The second floor is a multi-purpose hall. The third floor and fourth floors serve as the Cathedral rectory. There is a roof deck, which can be used for various needs.
THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS, THE “CALVARIUM”AND THE RISEN CHRIST
At the left side of the Cathedral are fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross, a mini Calvary (calvarium) and the monument of the Risen Christ. They are aids to meditation and contemplation on how Christ suffered and died for us and how, eventually, He conquered death.
Directly in front of the fountain is the main entrance to the Cathedral complex. it is also used as “HUGASAN” during the Easter morning ceremony commemorating the meeting between Mary and her Son, Risen from the dead.
The Paschal Mystery: Jesus life, passion, death and resurrection must remind us of our own call to suffer and die to sin and rise to newness of life with Jesus.
The Cathedral of Christ the King is now open to us to be a house for prayers, for the celebration of the sacraments and for other gatherings on occasion of joy and of grief.
We hope that your journey through the Cathedral complex has been uplifting, renewing and spiritually enriching. May Jesus reign in your heart as King and may He ignite in you the burning flame of love and service for others.
May you walk in the light, letting your light shine before all (Matthew 5:16)
THE TWO ALTARS
The main features of the Sanctuary are the two (2) altars: the ALTAR (TABLE) OF THE WORD, also known as “AMBO” and the ALTAR (TABLE) OF THE SACRIFICE.
The “AMBO” is for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. It is where the readings from Scriptures are proclaimed.
The table of the Sacrifice is where the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Greek for Thanksgiving) is celebrated. We gather around the altar as both the banquet table of the Lord and stone the stone of His sacrifice.
The two altars are made of Black Galaxy and Blue Pearl Granite from Italy. The same materials and a similar design were used because of their equal dignity and importance.
Directly below the Table of Sacrifice is an entrenchment for the Relic Saints. It is marked by granite cross. It is place there to remind us that Jesus Holiness is passed on to His loyal believes and followers.
Mr. Ike Agustin and Edgar Sibi did the two altars which were made possible thru the generosity of Mrs. Petrona B. Lim
The Cathedra comes from the Greek Kathedra which means “Chair”. It is the chair where the Bishop is made to sit when he is installed as the Ordinary of his Diocese. From this Chair, the Bishop’s role as a shepherd that links the local Church to the universal Church.
The Chair is made of “Kamagong”, a hard wood in dark color. It was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Sotero Albano.
The features of the Sanctuary remind us that Christ’s presence in the community, in the priest celebrant, in the scriptures and in the consecrated Bread and Wine received in Communion.
At the left of the sanctuary is the place of the Baptismal font where the sacrament of baptism will be celebrated. You will also see a painting depicting John baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River.
Work Durations/Constructions – 12 years
Estimated Expenses Incurred – 28+ millions (in peso)
Total Land Area – 2 hectares
Body of the Church including the sanctuary – 35 meters x 50 meters
Narthex – 51 meter x 8 meters
Total Heights – 32 meters