History and Culture

A Papal Tower in the Philippines?

, , Negros Occidental

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Apr 25, 2013

The seven-story edifice commemorates the late Pope John Paul II’s pastoral visit to Bacolod last February 20, 1981. The tower was built in the area where he delivered one of his most powerful messages on behalf of the poor.

The Pope Tower at night during New Year’s Eve; photo by Dustin Mijares

The building’s vision and mission states, “The Pope John Paul II Tower is a pilgrimage center that embodies and perpetuates the ideas, life, advocacies, commitment and holiness of Pope John Paul II – an ardent promoter of the culture of life and the culture of love.”

The Pope Tower stands on a 706 square-meter lot donated by Mr. Simplicio Palanca, the president of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco). It was put together in 2008 out of the inspiration of Fr. Felix Pasquin.

Pope John Paul II statue; photo by Dustin Mijares

Engraved at the base of the pope's eight-foot-tall bronze statue on the front yard: “Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist on this site, the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (BREDCO) Area, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines before an assembly of almost a million people on February 20, 1981. Unveiled and Blessed by his Grace Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, with the assistance of Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, D.D., Bishop of Bacolod and Rev. Fr. Felix Pasquin, Rector of San Sebastian Cathedral on the occasion of the blessing of the Pope John Paul II Tower on February 18, 2010.”

One of the floors at The Pope Tower where you’ll find some of the memorabilia; photo by Dustin Mijares

[VIEW: Where to eat in Bacolod City.]

The Pope John Paul II Tower houses a number of memorabilia about the pope and his visit to Bacolod City. Some of these are commemorative coins, the chair on which he sat, the vestment he wore, the table napkin, spoon, fork and plate used, and photos of him contributed by supporters.

The tower has a viewing deck with a view of the Bacolod cityscape. The place also hosted a viewing of the beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome last May 1, 2011.

During one of the MassKara Queen 2011 contestants’ fashion shoot featuring The Pope Tower at the background; photo by Dustin Mijares

You can visit the tower between 8:00am until 8:00pm daily. An entrance fee of Php20 per head is collected for donation and the building's maintenance.

VIEW: See what else to do in the city with the Choose Philippines Bacolod Map:


How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of Php400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.

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