Cebu Province and its highly-urbanized cities remain bastions of Catholicism in the country, according to the 2020 government census data, which is the most recent count.

With 343,621 of its 361,051 total household population or 95.2% reporting as Catholics, Mandaue City topped the list of highly-urbanized cities with the highest proportion of Catholics. Cebu City ranked 2nd with 94.7% as 907,910 of its 958,626 total household population reported being Catholic. In gross figures, Cebu City reported the highest number of Catholics among highly-urbanized cities. Lapu-Lapu City ranked 4th with 93.2% with 461,067 of the total household population of 494,672 listed as Catholic.

Among provinces, Albay reported the highest proportion of Catholics at 96.2% with 1,320,194 of its 1,372,550 total household population reported as being Catholic. While Cebu Province is ranked 4th by proportion at 94.8% – it listed the largest number of Catholics at 3,139,089 of the 3,309,850 total household population, with the count excluding its highly-urbanized cities.

The entire Cebu Province, including the highly-urbanized cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and Cebu City, has a total of 4,851,687 Catholics. That huge number is a key driver of the move to break up the Archdiocese of Cebu, the biggest in the country.

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering Cebu City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since...