Juan Gorordo

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Juan Gorordo
18 April 1862 – 20 December 1934
Place of birth: Barili, Cebu
Place of death: Cebu
Father: Juan Bautista Gorordo
Mother: Telesfora Garces

Juan Bautista Perfecto Gorordo (18 April 1862 – 20 December 1934) was a Cebuano who became the first Filipino bishop of Cebu.


Early Life and Education

Gorordo was born in Barili, Cebu, on 18 April 1862 to Juan Bautista Gorordo and Telesfora Garces. His father was from Vizcaya, Spain while his mother was a native of Cebu.

Even as a young boy, Gorordo was interested in priesthood. Thus, his parents sent him in 1874 to the University of San Carlos (formerly the Colegio-Seminario de San Carlos), which was formerly managed by the priests of St. Vincent de Paul. He took up philosophy and theology for three years after studying in the same seminary for eleven years. His academic records were so commendable that during his last years of study he was allowed by the priests to teach a class in the humanities for two years.


Gorordo was ordained into priesthood by Bishop Madridejos in 1885. Upon his ordination, he was first assigned as assistant priest in the San Nicolas and Opon neighborhoods. He was finally appointed as chaplain in the cathedral by Bishop Martin M. Garcia Alcocer in 1891.

In 1899, during the Philippine Revolution, Gorordo was named secretary and notary of the ecclesiastical curia when Bishop Alcocer had to leave the diocese for Manila. He was also made administrator of the religious properties of the diocese. [Note: As stated, it sounds like the Philippine Revolution was restricted only to 1899. :-D]

In 1905, upon the recommendation of the members of the church, Gorordo was appointed by Pope Pius X himself as domestic prelate of His Holiness. The investiture ceremony was held in the following year. He was also one of the members of the Concilio Provincial (Provincial Council) when it was held in Manila in 1907.

In 1909, the Pope named Gorordo titular bishop of Nilopolis and auxiliary bishop of Cebu. His consecration, the first of its kind in the diocese, was held on 24 June 1909 and was officiated by the Most Rev. Mgr. Ambrosio Agius, apostolic delegate. Rev. D. J. Dougherty, then bishop of Jaro, and Rev. J. J. Carrol, bishop of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, assisted in the rite. Prominent Filipino leaders attended the event, among them former President Sergio Osmeña, who was still a member of the Philippine Assembly at that time.

When the bishop of Cebu, Mgr. Hendrick, passed away in 1909, Gorordo was appointed apostolic administrator and was finally named bishop on 3 March 1910, taking office on July 2 of the same year. As bishop, he built the girls' dormitory and the church of Santo Rosario. He also supervised the construction of new buildings for the University of San Carlos (formerly College of San Carlos), as well as several churches in Cebu and Bohol. In addition, Bishop Gorordo founded the Catholic diocesan periodicals Ang Camatuoran (The Truth)(written both in Spanish and Cebuano) and Boletin Catolico. He also donated fifty-four hectares of land in Consolacion for the Eversley Childs leper station.

Family and Personal Life

Gorordo died on 20 December 1934. He willed forty percent of his fortune worth two hundred thousand pesos to the church and the rest to his remaining relatives.




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