Do you have a Chinese Temple in your area? Have you visited it?

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2 years ago

In one of my walks, it led me to one of the tourist spots here in our city. Let me take you down memory lane again. My original article was posted two years ago. Since I am here most of the time, I would like to share this post here with you as well. My first memory of this place was in my elementary days (first grade I think) during a city tour that our school organized. This was one of the places we visited that day. Sometimes it's good to explore and re-explore your city/town for you will learn more things about it.

Let's start our visit to one of the temples here in Baguio City.

Bell Church in Baguio City

Formerly known as the Chinese Buddhist Temple, Bell Church was founded by the early Chinese immigrants. It is said that they originated from what is now Guangzhou, China.

Kow Fan or Ng Pee and his group left their homeland in China and came here to the City of Pines. They then settled here and thus Bell Church was founded in August 1960. These forefathers were said to be the followers of Ji Jong, a Buddhist monk.

This Taoist church is built just a few steps away from the border of Baguio City and La Trinidad.

A bust of Kow Fan or Ng Pee, the founder of Bell Church

The Filipino-Chinese community has been a big part of the Cordillera. They have set up restaurants, schools, churches, and other businesses. Some intermarried with locals creating a stronger bond with the Cordillerans and Filipinos as a whole.

In 1954, back when they were just starting, the original members of the church were only few, mostly Chinese farmers. They humbly started by holding their service in a restaurant. As the devotees grew in number, they then transferred to the house of Ng Pee in km. 6, La Trinidad. After a few years, they transferred to the new location at km. 3, La Trinidad where the Bell Church now currently stands. A small temple was also built at km. 6.

Reportedly, the house and lot where the current temple now is said to have been donated by the locals. The house was then converted to a temple and more pagodas and other structures have been built within the property.

Aside from Taoism and Buddhism, the church has three other patrons which represent Islam, Christianity and Confucianism. These saints were the ones who dictated how the temple should be built. These same saints were asked for guidance about their future, business, marriage, etc.

It is called Bell Church because the followers has a philosophy that believes in unity and a bell represents unity. They believe that regardless of religion, we should live in harmony. Whatever differences we have, we should live a good life. They believe in the principle of karma - do good to others always so good karma will come back to you. Much like the golden rule.

Bells are used to warn people from calamities or disasters but for Bell Church, this represents a call of spiritual awakening.

Here in Benguet is the headquarters of Bell Church. They do have chapters scattered throughout the country and abroad like Hong Kong and United States.

Members of this church held festivals every year. They give away freebies to the community. This temple will be filled by locals who want to partake of the blessing that the church and its members offer. They do this twice a year I think - during the holiday season and Chinese New Year. Aside from that, every Chinese New Year, you can see dragon dancers in business establishments spreading luck and driving away evil. These dragon dancers can be witnessed parading the streets during Chinese New Year.

They have a gym here where they teach martial arts and dragon/lion dances.

A dog seem to stand guard outside the gate but it was trying to get in to the maroon gate on the left wall.

Bell Church is open to tourists but limited access only. The main temple is open to the public all the time. You are not allowed to take photos inside the main temple though. You can offer your prayer and you can also see what your fortune is. You can ask the staff there to assist you with that. The other pagodas are open on selected days as well. This is a popular place for filmmakers.

Pre-pandemic, they were open to the public from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. and then from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you are looking for free places to go, then go to Bell Church. It's a quick visit on your way to La Trinidad Strawberry Farm.

To get there, from Baguio City, ride a jeepney going to La Trinidad and ask to be dropped off Bell Church. You can find these jeepneys along Magsaysay Avenue near Baguio Center Mall and also near City Hall. You should get off the border arch of Baguio City and La Trinidad.

Thanks for your support, comments and time reading this post.

Share with us your experience visiting a Chinese temple. What temples do you have in your area?

*All contents are mine.

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2 years ago

Comments

Regardless of religion we should live in harmony. I agree. Such a beautiful place. Can't exactly remember where I saw a temple before.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I think I haven't been to any temples yet. There's no nearby temple here in our area also. I have only been to churches. Pero someday, I wanna visit a temple.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Personally I prefer churches than Chinese temples. I haven't been to other temples yet but I would like to see other temples too.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Although we have a large Chinese community here, there are no Chinese temples, and I've never visited one. I would love to visit one someday. As always, I enjoy your narration and the photographs that transport us to those places you tell about.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Interesting. They seem to have populated every place. Do you have a Chinatown there at least?

$ 0.00
2 years ago

We don´t have a Chinatown. But there are many Chinese restaurants. And here in Caracas, there is an area where there are quite a few very close to each other. And there every Sunday there is a Chinese market.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

That feels like a Chinatown :D We don't have it here too but there are in some cities. Most of the businesses here were owned by Filipino-Chinese.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

There is a lot of movement of people on Sundays when they do the market. But the rest of the week, I wouldn't call it a Chinatown. Many years ago, I'd the opportunity to travel to the United States, and I visited the Chinatowns' of San Francisco and NYC and that is amazing.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Oh I see. I can imagine our Sunday markets here. I hope I can visit Chinatown here in other cities.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Wow! Last January we planned to went there but hindi po tinuloy since delikado parin po due the pandemic. I wish someday! It's really beautiful! I love adventures!

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Ah sayang naman. Dbale may ibang chance pa naman.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yes po.. sayang po talaga but safety first muna...

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Nako yung sa may Binondo pa lang napuntahan ko. Wala naman masyadong ano sa akin ang Chinese temple... Parang wala lang... Mas bet ko pa simbahan. Hehehe.

Meron din sa Cebu nung nagpunta ako nung May kaso di ko dinaanan. Di naman ako marunong ng Chinese dasal chuchu nila. XD

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Oo din. Mas okay din sa akin ang simbahan. Un dito kasi sa may main temple nila, mga statue lang tas mag ooffer ka ng prayer sa mga yun. Parang ganun ata. Limot ko na.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Walang Chinese temple dito pero marami din Chinese. Ang napuntahan ko ay ung sa Cebu City. Ang ganda nmn jan, hindi ko yan na bisita nung pumunta kami ng baguio dati.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Maluwang siguro un dun sa Cebu. Eto kasi hindi ganun kalakihan. Tas old na siya pero well maintained naman.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Its nice having these posted, I have lived in the city for more than a year pro d nkapagliwaliw maxado kya d npuntahan mga to

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Mejo maluwag naman na kaya start na maglibot :D

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Eh. Bakit hindi namin to pinuntahaaaan non???! Anyways, meron chinese temple sa University namin pero maliit lang siya. Haha.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Malapit lang to sa STOBOSA, un parang favela sa La Trinidad. Next time try nyo puntahan to. Di rin naman to kalakihan :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

We don't have any close by, but we have a China town in the next city, most likely there will be a temple there.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

That would be nice. We don't have Chinatown here so it would be interesting to visit one.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Superb article kuya, I love dragons and the water lillies. I am fascinated with Chinese buildings and culture, and No I haven't been to a Chinese Temple.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Thanks a lot! Then you should visit one :D Are there Chinese temples there?

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Not that I have ever seen. I remember shopping and eating in Chinatown in London, but don't remember seeing a Chinese Temple

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Gotta explore more kuya :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

indeed yes kuya !

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Parang sa panaginip ko nalang muna pupuntahan yan..or sa imagination baga.. anlayo eh sana if ever may chance gusto ko rin pumunta jan!

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Baka may mas malapit jan sanyo na pwede puntahan :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sa Cebu,,di ko alam..Wildlife Safari lang napuntahan ko dito

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I visited Rizal Park and they have a Chinese garden :D Pati Japanese. I also went to the Chinese Temple in Cebu.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Sounds like the Botanical Garden here. They have different kinds of gardens in there.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

D ko pa napuntahan yang bell church na yan! Something to look forward hmm 🤔

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Ou pag may opportunity, visit mo to pag nasa Baguio ka :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Pangarap ko pong makapunta sa baguio sana one day makapunta po ako diyan..

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Claim it :D Makakarating ka din ng Baguio :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Di ko pa din napuntahan yan! Wlaa ata ditong malapit samin....

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Mukhang sa mga major cities yata ang mga Chinese Temples dito sa atin kadalasan malapit sa dagat. Taka nga ako nakarating sila dito sa bundok hehe.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Hahah. Nag expand dn sa bundok..

$ 0.00
2 years ago

My gash, ang gnada talaga sa Baguio 😭. Usto ko makapunta jan

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Mapupuntahan mo din. Tiwala lang :) Matatapos na din tong pandemya na to.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I was never been there but after seeing this, I would like to explore the place as well for it has such a great history.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Explore your place too if you are allowed and share it here with us.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Still beautiful as it has been. I was there 22 years ago lol!

$ 0.01
2 years ago

It still looks almost the same. I can't exactly how it looks like 20 years ago.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yes, it does look the same 20 years back hehe

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Wen adda, jay Macho Temple. Isu koma blog ko tadta ket jak mabirukan pics hehe.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Birukemon hehe. Baka jay steemit ayan na.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Do not you feel like that you are visiting the place when china dominated your country? Kinda ancient thing!

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Chinese were more like traders then, not conquerors.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I know kinda history from 1000s to till now and yah chinese did not had any good dominance to people..

$ 0.00
2 years ago