Cebu was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595, and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of that diocese. Its construction suffered many delays over the years from lack of funding but the building is said to have been largely completed by the end of the 18th century before other events such as the Allied bombing of Cebu during World War II brought the structure to ruins again. It was rebuilt after the war under the guidance of the architect Jose Maria Zaragosa, and underwent another major renovation between 2008 and 2009.
Today it is an important place of worship and a major landmark in Cebu City. At the back of the sacristy there is a mausoleum built under the instruction of Archbishop Julio Cardinal Rosales in 1982 which serves as the burial or resting place for Cebu’s bishops and clergy.