Greece, Italy, France…these are just few of the places around the world I dreamed of visiting. If there is one thing they have in common, that’d be their wonderful architectural designs. But what if I told you that there is a place where you can get a glimpse of those wonders. What if I told you that this dream of mine just got real (sort of).
The Temple of Leah in Cebu, just like the famous Taj Mahal of India, is a work of art built as a symbol of a man’s undying love to his wife. See what love can do? 😉
This past few months I have been getting feeds in my Facebook about a place that is just amazing and refreshing to the eyes. Why? First, you rarely see this kind of architecture in Cebu, perhaps the whole Philippines. Second, it is just in Cebu so what are you waiting for?
The temple is situated atop the mountains of Brgy. Busay, Cebu City just a few meters past the Mountainview Resort and Lantaw Native Restaurant. For commuters it can be reached by motorcycle (habal-habal from JY Square Mall) preferably than a taxi because of the steep and winding road. It will cost you 75Php one-way per person and around 10 minutes travel time.
Just by looking from outside, you can already see some sculptures in the wall. From there I knew I would be bringing home awesome photos, you be the judge.
A few meters up the entrance and, lo and behold, the majestic temple of whaaaaat? Wait, why the heck do I see a bulldozer? 😮
Okay first of all I want to emphasize that it is still under construction (as of March 2015) but most of the major parts are done. It looks like they are on the furnishing phase and the temple is expected to be completed this 2015. Still they have opened the place to the public with no entrance fee as of this post. So please keep safety as priority as not to harm yourself and do damage to the structures.
Immediately you will be welcomed by two golden lion statues that really gives a roaring presence and grandeur. How royal is it to ascend the stairs with the kings of the wild at your sides. As expected these will be favorite target for some shameless selfies and groupfies. 😀 Hmmm we will get our turn there.
Upon entering the temple, you will be teleported to another place on Earth, if not yet. Some say it’s like the ancient Rome or perhaps Greece. It boasts a Roman inspired architecture.
The high pillars, eye-catching floor and intricate sculptures around the place will leave your jaw dropping and eyes wandering. Number 2 on your “selfie list” would be the center mark on the floor. (top tip)
Here is a sample peg from Aya (lil explorer/instant model). She’s 2 and been travelling with us lately so expect future cameos from her. 🙂
Now it’s time to meet Leah Villa Albino-Adarna, the wife of Teodorico Adarna to whom this temple is devoted to. They were married for 53 years until the year 2010 when she passed away. Teodorico, the grandfather of celebrity Ellen Adarna, decided to construct this temple as a symbol of his undying love and ceaseless devotion to Leah. You’re the man, Teodorico!
The temple has 24 chambers that showcase all of Leah’s lifetime collections. But currently there is limited access to the chambers due to the ongoing work. Today, Leah is a 9-foot bronze statue seated at the heart of the temple that portrays her innate beauty, poise and gentleness.
The temple is also an art gallery and museum. I was not able to check out these so I added photos from their Facebook page.
At last, the path is clear and we got our turn with the lion. As I said, please always exercise caution and take pictures at your own risk. It is high enough to cause serious injuries.
I think the best time to visit the temple is at 4-5 o’clock in the afternoon where the heat is already bearable and the sun is about to go down. I was hoping to get a good view of the city lights at night but currently they are closing the temple at 7PM.
Speaking of overlooking view, the Temple of Leah may just become the best destination for a panoramic skyline of the city. The wide open space in front of the temple makes a superb viewing deck. And by the way, there’s a staircase leading to the rooftop that will level up your viewing experience. 😀
There is a good clearance, about a meter thick, from the edges as safety measures but still prone to danger for idiots. For the Nth time, safety first.
Ohh as a bonus, there is a pyramid made of glass at the rooftop right above the statue of Leah providing it a natural lighting. You know what I’m thinking? 😉
Even in its unfinished glory, the Temple of Leah surely is a masterpiece. It will be a matter of time before tourists will be flocking this place like World War Z. 😀
As much as I love to promote this place, I also want it to be finished ASAP and free from distraction. Take note that it is not always open as there are days it will be off-limits for the construction. As it closes to its completion, it is possible that they will totally close the temple to speed up the furnishing and renovation. I hope everybody will respect and support that.
You may contact them at (032) 233 5032 or their Facebook page: Temple of Leah.
I can’t wait to visit it again in its fullest magnificence. Ultimately, it was a one of a kind experience and a marvelous travel destination. Well that’s what you get when love and art collide.
Have you been to the Temple of Leah? Tell us what you think and spread good vibes! 😀