Built around 1622, the Cathedral was originally constructed with taipa (compound material consisting soil and straw). During the restoration of 1780, the religious services of the Cathedral were temporarily transferred to the old chapel of the Holy House of Mercy. The Cathedral was damaged by a typhoon in 1836 and its services were then transferred to St. Dominic’s Church, until repairs were completed in 1850 following the design of local architect Tomas d’Aquino. The façade is characterized by pilasters and the twin belfries that stand out on the streetscape. The exterior is clad in Shanghai plaster, giving the church a monolithic subdued appearance.