Monday, May 18, 2015

Enter the Dragons: Revisiting Cebu Taoist Temple

I was a lanky 1st year high school student when I first set foot in Cebu City. My aunt and first cousins took me along in one of their visits to their relatives in the Queen City of the South. I could still remember one of the few tourist spots we visited that time--Cebu Taoist Temple located within Beverly Hills Subdivision.

Since I discovered my passion for traveling, I've been going back to Cebu every year for six years now. I've been to Bantayan up north, Carcar City down south, frolicked in the beaches of Camotes Islands and joined four editions of the Cebu City Marathon. However, in these several instances, I was not able to get the opportunity visit Taoist Temple once again.

Just last month, my wife and I took our kids to Cebu to introduce them to the wonderful world of traveling. It was their first time to ride an airplane and I could see their excitement during take off and in seeing fluffy clouds and tiny islands from up above. And during our stay in Cebu City, I  finally got the chance to revisit Taoist Temple, this time with my family.


Cebu Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision in Cebu City, Philippines. The temple was built in 1972 by Cebu's affluent Chinese community.

How To Get There

Before our Taoist Temple visit, we first went to the Cebu City Zoo. Since taxis hardly pass along the city zoo, we decided to ride a habal-habal motorcycle since there are plenty waiting outside. Fare is only 15 pesos per person but we found out that these motorcycles are prohibited to go inside Beverly Hills Subdivision. So our ride was only up to the subdivision gate and we have to walk for about 15 minutes to get to Taoist Temple. Fortunately, it was already late in the afternoon and the sunlight is not too harsh that time so it was mostly a leisurely walk for us.

The fastest and most convenient way to get to Taoist Temple is to ride a taxi. Since the temple is one of Cebu's most popular attractions, getting a taxi ride should not be a problem. Expect to pay P150-200.00 from downtown Cebu up to Taoist Temple. And since there are plenty of cabs going in and out of the subdivision, you don't have to require the taxi driver to wait for you while you're inside exploring the temple.

What's Inside Cebu Taoist Temple?  

The temple towers at 300 meters (980 feet) above sea level. At the entrance, a red steel gate opens to a flight of stairs comprised of 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures) leading up to the multi-level temple in hues of red, yellow and green.

On top, you will be rewarded with the panoramic view of Cebu City, Mactan and even the distant Bohol islands.

Adorned with sculpted lions, dragons and various religious structures, the temple is a visual treat of Chinese architecture. A replica of the great wall of China is also built as one of its three separate access routes.

A souvenir shop sells souvenir items and lucky charms. However, it is prohibited to take photos inside the shop.

While my family roamed around the temple, I took time to observed the devotees ritual in praying to the gods to grant one's wishes. The practice involves washing of hands, going inside the chapel barefoot and dropping two blocks of kidney-shaped wood. If the blocks of wood landed both face up then one could make a wish. If not then it is not yet the time for one's wish to be granted and one has to come to try again some other time.

Taoist Temple is open for free to the public. However, don't forget that it is a sacred place being the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze. If you're planning to visit the temple, remember to always observe and respect their rules, regulations and practices.

1 comment :

  1. Nice temple and just know that you have amazing temple there. In bali island we also have temple and many of them. Oya..... love the pics


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