The Philippines’ diversity has allowed the country to expand, improve and develop into what it is today. We live in a country with a strong Catholic background and yet we welcome those whose views are way too different from ours: Taoism.
History of the Taoist Temple
Up to this day, we enjoy a quick visit to Cebu’s Taoist temple. Never is there a city tour nor a school field trip without dropping by the Chinese-built shrine. Constructed in the early 70’s, this particular house of prayer was built by the Chinese community in Cebu who practiced Taoism– a religion and philosophy in obedience to the teachings of Lao Tzu.
Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, was a philosopher and a writer, who later became a deity in the Chinese culture. Since the Chinese have been living in the Philippines, a hint of their prosperous culture and tradition was adapted by the Filipino people.
This does not include the religion, though, since the country is strong in its Christian faith. However, we still respect and welcome our differences in humanities with the neighboring countries. After all, the nation will not be what we are today if not because of the various and colorful history that we have in our footprints.
What to do there
Tourists and locals alike visit the temple not because they practice Taoism, but because the structure has been an iconic city attraction. Even non-practicing religious are welcome. Aside from the religious part of it, more reasons to visit are the architectural design, the well-maintained greeneries and the view of the entire city.
As we all know, the Chinese are very keen in terms of icons with meanings. These beliefs are evidently visible in the whole temple structure. With the mighty snakes guarding the doors, you would feel like you are in China!
- Dress appropriately. The Taoist temple is a sacred place for the religious. If you are going to visit, make sure to respect the guidelines by not wearing indecent clothing such as sleeveless tops, skirts, shorts, slippers, and others. Cover up!
- Observe silence at all times. People are praying, observing and meditating. It is not the right avenue for you to take jump shots or to chit-chat.
- Do not take photos (nor selfies) of the altar and prayer rooms. You may take photographs of the temple outside.
- No eating inside the temple.
- Do not spend too much time in the prayer room as people are waiting to come in. Once you are done with your session head back right away.
How to get there
The Taoist temple is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision, Lahug, Cebu City. Because it is inside a private subdivision, only private vehicles and cabs can get inside. If you have no private ride to get there, hail a habal-habal from J.Y. Square and tell the driver to drop you off the temple.
You can also take 04L to the subdivision entrance. Get off at the entrance of the subdivision and walk your way to the worship place.