This coral and limestone church was built in the 1700s by the Augustinian Recollects. On August 28, 1901, the 2nd Philippines Commission, headed by William Howard Taft, convened at the cathedral and declared the establishment of Zambales Province.
The four-level Baroque façade has a semicircular arch main entrance flanked by statued niches and four pairs of superpositioned coupled Doric columns on pedestals, each set apart from the others and rising symmetrically up to the pediment (unifying the section of the façade into one dramatic composition). The two central pairs of columns end up in flame-like finials. The seal of the Augustinian Recollect Order is at the arch of the main entrance and lateral doors.
The top of the undulating pediment is designed like a small temple with three semicircular arched niches, a triangular pediment and a pair of superpositioned columns. Below, at the central niche, is the statue of St. Augustine of Hippo.
The sides of the church are supported by buttresses. The five-storey octagonal bell tower, on a square base on the church’s right, has semicircular arch windows and a domed roof.
The retablo (altar backdrop) has three niches – the Crucifix in the middle, the image of Ina Poon Bato (Patroness of Zambales) on the left and the image of St. Augustine of Hippo on the right
Cathedral of St. Augustine of Hippo: Brgy. Zone V, 2201 Iba, Zambales. Tel: (047) 811-1563. GPS geo-coordinates: lat: 15.3260, lon: 119.9799. Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo: August 28.
How to Get There: Iba is located 210.2 kms. (a 2.5-hour drive) from Manila and 82.2 kms. north of Olongapo City. The cathedral is located adjacent to the Provincial Capitol Bldg..