Saint James Parish Church, Dapitan


St. James Parish Church symbolizes the early Christianization of  Dapitan The old Spanish masonry and architecture are still evident even if a century has passed since its construction. It was built in 1871 in honor of St. James the Great.

St. James Parish Church is the second church. The first church was constructed between the years 1631-1767. Except only for the finishing, the exterior walls which is more than a meter thick and its design are original. The altars and interiors had been renovated several times because of deterioration over time.

There is a historical spot where Rizal stood while hearing mass on Sundays during his exile in Dapitan from July 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896. The Jesuits missionaries stayed in Dapitan for about 221 years (1629/1631-1767) and (1864-late 1940’s) while the Recollect priests stayed in Dapitan for about 96 years (1768-1864). In 1944, Japanese soldiers used this church as a resting/sleeping area for about five days.