Friday, March 6, 2015

Bell Church - Baguio City

For a newbie driver in Baguio it was a great help to have an interactive map showing the exact location of off-the-beaten-path touristy places within the area.

Though Bell Church is just a few kilometers away from Burnham Park it is surprisingly beyond the radar of mainstream tourists if I may say so.

Since it was Christmas Holiday when we visited the place we were surprised to see it devoid of seasonal Baguio City crowds. From the highway some guys assisted us because the road going to the compound was too narrow thus the car travelling in opposite direction has to wait for us to pass at the other end before it can access the narrow road; luckily there was an available free parking area inside the compound. Despite the fact that this place is open to the public it is obviously well maintained; as expected for any religious place frequented by tourists.

Since it is a Taoist Church don't be surprised to see dragons and other mythical beings inside the compound. Overpowering red color is the norm for any Chinese place of worship as well. Another impressive thing is that the compound is nestled along a hill making it ideal to trek up to the highest point to have a good view of the surrounding areas.

While battling the concrete steps I remembered the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple in Hong Kong. If not for the numerous steps of Ten Thousand Buddha Temple and its pristine surroundings I may consider this place at par with the said temple. In relation to this, I was elated since Bell Church was the first Chinese or Taoist temple I have visited in the Philippines. It was ironic that I have seen many great temples in other countries before I set foot on one of them in my own backyard.

We spent an hour exploring the compound and enjoying the greenery. It was unfortunate that the main altar or place of worship was closed to the public at that time. Anyway, it was a nice way for my family to have a glimpse of my ancestor's religious belief.

See: Road trip to Baguio

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