Cebu, Philippines: Taoist Temple

by - 12:00 AM

Taoist Temple is surely a spot not to be missed when going on a tour around Cebu City. Built in 1972 inside the Beverly Hills Subdivision, this Chinese temple is a manifestation of Cebu’s substantial Chinese community and influence.

The grand gate of the temple. Parking space is available here.

A long and winding road leads to the temple where hundreds of tourists and devotees (local and foreign) flock every day to pray and to sight-see. Seated on top of a hill, it offers a magnificent view of Cebu City, the neighboring island of Mactan, and the Mactan channel.

Often times, people go up there to pray, meditate, and to ask for favors. Inside the temple, you may talk with monks and ask for enlightenment; or you may use the wooden kidney beans in the altar to get answers to your questions.
They say there are about 81 steps to the temple. Visitors can pray, meditate, and perform rituals inside the temple.

Cebu was covered in haze when we visited and that explains why we weren't able to see the city of Cebu and the island of Mactan in the picture.

The giant dragon on top of the stairs and the Chinese pagoda in the background.

Here’s how the wooden “kidney bean” ritual works:
1.  Wash both hands to represent cleanliness (sinks are available on the left side).
2.  Light the Joss stick, hold with both hands, kneel down and pray.
3.  Place the stick on the altar, hold a pair of wooden blocks, flat side up with both hands.
4.  Ask one question, wish or problem at a time.
5.  Drop the wooden blocks gently to the floor.
6.  Give thanks.
1 block is flat, the other is round
2 blocks are round
2 blocks are flat

A large dragon adorns the area reminiscent of the Great Wall of China.

How to Get There:
1. Private Car - The most convenient option to take. Parking is available inside the temple’s property.
2. Taxi - Another option is hiring a taxi though considerably more expensive than the other options. Oftentimes, taxi drivers would ask for an extra amount since the road going to the temple is uphill and they don’t have any passengers to take back to the city.
3. Public Transport - Take any Lahug bound jeepney and alight at the busy side street across the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Ride a motorcycle (habal-habal) to take you to the entrance of the subdivision. It is just a short but uphill walk from the guardhouse to the temple. Turn left on the very first corner you see.

- Be prepared to climb flights of stairs (around 81 steps) to get to the top. You’ll definitely get a rewarding view if you do.
- Picture-taking is not allowed inside the temple altar. Taking pictures of the gods are also prohibited.
- Shorts and sleeveless tops are not allowed when going inside the temple altar but cover-ups such as sarongs and cloths are available outside for free.
- This is a house of prayer. Loud music and noise are discouraged.
- It is best to visit in the afternoon to avoid the harsh heat of the sun.

Taoist Temple Cebu
Beverly Hills, Subdivision, Lahug, Cebu City
8 am - 5 pm, every day
No entrance fee

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