Sunday, November 5, 2017

Temple of Leah in Cebu

We took a quick trip to Cebu last week during the kids' sem break. To be honest, I didn't really plan an itinerary since we've been to Cebu so many times before and have already seen almost all the tourist attractions. However, one place we did visit was Temple of Leah, which is dubbed as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines.

I've seen photos of Temple of Leah on social media and was surprised to know that it was located in the Philippines, especially since it looks like a place in Rome or Greece. It was built in 2012 by Teodorico Adarna, grandfather of actress Ellen Adarna, as a tribute to his wife Leah, who died of cancer in 2010.

You can find detailed directions on how to get there on their website. We just took a taxi from our hotel (Marco Polo Plaza) which is in Cebu City. Take note that in their website, they don't recommend taking a taxi since usually the trip won’t be metered, but “pakyaw.”  They say that most cab drivers who agree on going up the highlands would ask for fixed fare of around P800 roundtrip.

Our taxi driver agreed on using a meter and then he will just wait for us while the meter is running (we spent about 20 minutes inside). Then, just add P100 to the final fare. After Temple of Leah, we asked him to drop us off at Ayala Center Cebu and our overall fare was P300, plus the P100 extra, so P400. So I guess it wasn't so bad. We wanted to take an Uber kasi at first, but then we weren't sure if we could find an Uber going back down, kasi nga the place was on top of a mountain pala.

Anyway, Temple of Leah opens daily from 6am to 11pm. There is a P50 entrance fee per person, with free admission for seniors and children 10 years below. They also charge for pictorials starting from P2,500 up.

Anyway, yes the place is very grand but it's still partially under construction so you can see bulldozers to the side and other materials lying around. Medyo maputik din un floors. You have to find a good angle lang when taking photos and also para hindi masyadong kita un ibang people roaming around.

Personally, I haven't been to Rome or Greece so it was exciting for me that this place exists in the Philippines. I think it looks a lot better in pictures though, since there's still a lot of improvements to be done. Maybe it will be better to visit again when the whole place is finished already, and hopefully they can keep it clean and well maintained.

A 2.74-meter bronze statue of Leah Adarna greets visitors entering the temple’s main doorway.

The plaque reads: "I constructed this temple in the year 2012 A.D. as a symbol of my undying love for and ceaseless devotion to Leah Villa Albino-Adarna, my wife of 53 years. I adopted and architectural and structural design that can withstand time and still be appreciated for a millennium so this Temple will become a landmark of Cebu where future generations of the Adarna clan coming from her can come and trace the roots and heritage. All her lifetime collections are showcased in the 24 chambers of this Temple principally for the members of our family who cherish her memory."

The 24 chambers that house Leah Adarna’s vast collections remain closed to the public though, available for viewing only through the window grills.

I think the best thing about this place is the view of Cebu though.

Well, overall the place is nice to see especially if you like taking photos. And at least parang na-feel mo na nasa Europe ka haha!

Busay, Cebu City, Philippines
0933 113 1755

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