Cebu Taoist Temple: Of Greens, Reds, and Dragons

Being regarded as the oldest city in the country, Cebu is an island province rich in culture and history. If you want to take a trip down memory lane or brush up on your Philippine History facts, Cebu should definitely be on your checklist.

A week ago, I decided to go on a solo trip to uptown Cebu. I was eager to visit the celosia farms in Sirao since it is the only attraction in the uptown area I’ve never been to. After passing by the Siam Tian Buddhist Temple in Banilad, I decided to visit the Taoist Temple instead. I have been to this temple a couple of times before but there is just something grand about it that convinced me to pay it another visit.

Cebu Taoist Temple

It has been a series of hectic work weeks and that the much needed R&R was long overdue. This trip to the Taoist temple was not only relaxing for me, but budget-friendly as well. It is a great place to have some time alone and get away from all the nuisances of city life. 

About Cebu Taoist Temple

Taoism, also known as Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which means “living in accordance to The Way”. It is founded on Lao Tzu’s writings, advocating humility and religious piety. Taoists believe that a strong force guides you in your ways. Taoism is actually one of the few eco-friendly religions because it teaches you to be in harmony with nature and the environment. 

The architecture of most Taoist temples is based mainly on natural scenery. Peaceful and beautiful mountains provide a perfect backdrop in which worshippers can develop their inner selves. 

The Cebu Taoist Temple was built in 1972 and is located in the opulent Beverly Hills of Cebu City. The temple serves as the center of worship for Taoism in Cebu. For us, non-Taoists, however, it provides the opportunity of a first-hand experience of Chinese history and architecture while we gladly enjoy the beautiful topography of the place. 

Interesting Facts
  • The temple has an elevation of 300 meters above sea-level.
  • The entrance to the temple is a replica of the Great Wall of China.
  • It will take you 99 steps to reach the main temple.
  • The temple’s architecture is of a modern Chinese religious design with a predominantly red and green color scheme and a pagoda-style roof.
  • Paintings, statues, murals and other artistic forms with green dragons as subject are prominent in the temple. In Taoism, the green dragon symbolizes the essence of the spiritual half of the cosmos. It also helps you reconnect and reintegrate with the spiritual aspects of life.

Cebu Taoist Temple

Reminders

Since the temple is a place of worship, there are rules to be strictly followed as a sign of respect. 

  1. Don’t wear shorts or sleeveless tops if you wish to enter the temple’s altar.
  2. Always observe silence.
  3. Taking photos of the altars is strictly prohibited.
Additional Tips
  • It is best to visit the temple in the morning. Less or few visitors mean good photographs.
  • Their souvenir shop is quite interesting. Be sure to check it out and perhaps, buy something for keeps.

Getting to Cebu Taoist Temple

Cebu Taoist Temple

There are a few ways to reach the temple. If you’re going there by taxi, just simply ask the driver to take you to the Taoist Temple. From JY Square, taxi fare may range from 100-150 pesos. If you’re on a tight budget, just take a habal-habal (motorbikes-for-hire) instead, with a minimal fare of around 20 pesos.

Pros and Cons
  • Habal-habal only takes you to the subdivision gate and you need to hike your way to the temple. It’s roughly a 20-minute upslope walk, so better think cardio. 
  • Taxis can take you all the way up to the temple gate.

This post is part of Drift Stories’ #GoingMobile project.
All photos are captured with a Huawei P10.

Herbert Kikoy
I am a hobbyist photographer who's making a big shift to mobile photography, a frustrated cook and a wanderlust who don't have the luxury of time.