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Temples and Old Churches
in the Philippines

NOTE: I have done my best to add the Chinese characters (and their Hanyu Pinyin readings) for any site with a connection to Chinese culture. In many cases, this was through trying to read the characters over a gate in Google Street View. (The given name of the temple is no help, as these are often based on Hokkienese--a whole different ball game!) Between that and my meager Chinese skills, some of these may be wildly inaccurate. I'll try to fix them as I go along.

This Buddha on the terrace overlooks the city at Baguio Buddhist Temple

Buddhist Temples

The list here is built on one taken from Fr. Ari C. Dy's wonderful book, Chinese Buddhism in the Catholic Philippines. (Note: several sites have cited this list without credit; let them know this is poor practice if you see it elsewhere.) I am adding other Buddhist temples as I find them, whether online or in person. The numbers 1-37 are from Fr. Dy; 38 and on are my "discoveries."

Some of the temples on Fr. Dy's list are, by his own description, hardly worth a visit. The first one here, for example, is in a privately-owned condominium, and the owner "uses it as a base for personal spiritual practice and entertains various requests for his [feng shui consultancy] services." I won't even attempt to go there.

What counts as "Buddhist" is more fluid here in the Philippines than in China or Japan; many with this designation are more Taoist or folk than properly Buddhist, and there are dozens if not hundreds of temples throughout the islands that fall more squarely outside of Buddhism proper. Some of these have been added in a separate list below. I will clarify whether these places are truly Buddhist or more folk-y as I visit them.
  1. An Bao Vihara (安寶精舍, Anbao Jingshe) Antipolo, Manila (map)
  2. Bun Su Temple (文殊寺, Wenshu Si) Pasay, Manila (map)
  3. Che Wan Temple (靈鷲寺, Lingjiu Si) Sta Mesa, Manila (map)
  4. Chong Hoc Temple (崇福寺, Chongfu Si) Pasay, Manila (map)
  5. Hai En Temple (海印寺, Haiyin Si) Sta Cruz, Manila (map)
  6. Holy Buddhist Temple (觀音寺, Guanyin Si) Cubao, Manila (map)
  7. Hwa Chong Temple (華藏寺, Huazang Si) Malabon, Manila (map)
  8. Hwat Kong Temple (法空寺, Fakong Si) Sta Mesa, Manila (map)
  9. Kim Sha Temple (金沙寺, Jinsha Si) Sta Cruz, Manila (map)
  10. Lian Hua Temple (蓮華寺, Lianhua Si) Malabon, Manila (map)
  11. Mabuhay Temple (馬尼拉佛光山萬年寺, Manila Foguangshan Wannian Si) Malate, Manila (map)
  12. Manila Buddha Temple (普陀寺, Putuo Si) Sta Cruz, Manila (map)
  13. Ocean Sky Chan Monastery (海天禪寺, Haitian Chan Si) San Juan, Manila (map)
  14. Poh Chong Temple (寶藏寺, Baozang Si) Cubao, Manila (map)
  15. Seng Guan Temple (信願寺, Xinyuan Si) Tondo, Manila (map)
  16. Soc Yan Temple (宿燕寺, Suyan Si) Tondo, Manila (map)
  17. Thousand Buddha Temple (普濟禪寺, Puji Chan Si) QC, Manila (map)
  18. Tien Tiok Am (天竺庵, Tianzhu An) Tondo, Manila (map)
  19. Tian Lian Temple (天蓮寺, Tianlian Si) QC, Manila (map)
  20. Tsi Tiok Lin Vihara (紫竹林精舍, Zizhulin Jingshe) Sta Cruz, Manila (map)
  21. Un Siu Temple (隐秀寺, Yinxiu Si) Caloocan, Manila (map)
  22. Wan Tong Temple (圓通寺, Yuantong Si) Sta Cruz, Manila (map)
  23. Baguio Buddha Temple (碧瑤普陀寺, Biyao Putuo Si) Baguio (map)
  24. Ling Hong Temple (靈峰寺, Lingfeng Si) Cabanatuan (map)
  25. Miao De Chan Temple (妙德禪寺, Miaode Chan Si) Tagaytay (map)
  26. Palawan Fayu Temple (巴拉灣法雨寺, Balawan Fayu Si) Palawan (map); also Manila location in Tondo, Manila (map)
  27. Buddha-Light Temple (佛光寺, Foguang Si) Cebu City (map)
  28. Chu Un Temple (慈恩寺, Cien Si) Cebu City (map)
  29. Fa Tzang Temple (法藏寺, Fazang Si) Bacolod City (map)
  30. Iloilo Foguang Yuan (怡朗佛光緣, Yilang Foguang Yuan) Iloilo City (map)
  31. Lam Hua Temple (南華寺, Nanhua Si) Tacloban City (map)
  32. Phu Shian Temple (普賢寺, Puxian Si) (formerly 定慧寺, Dinghui Si) Cebu City (map)
  33. Yuan Thong Temple (圓通寺, Yuantong Si) Bacolod City (map)
  34. Hoc Chuan Temple (福泉寺, Fuquan Si) Zamboanga City (map)
  35. Long Hua Temple (龍華寺, Longhua Si) Davao City (map)
  36. Po Lian Temple (寶蓮寺, Baolian Si) Davao City (map)
  37. Sam Poh Temple (三寶寺, Sanbao Si) Zamboanga City (map)
  38. Avalokiteshvara Holy Temple (靈隱聖寺, Ling Yin Sheng Si) Santa Mesa, Manila (map)
  39. Fo Guang Shan Ongpin Buddhist Center (佛光緣, Fo Kuang Yuan) Binondo, Manila (map)
  40. Hong San Sing Kong Temple (廣澤尊王庙, Guang Zezun Wang Miao) Malabon, Manila (map)
  41. Kuang Kong Temple (王彬古迹关圣夫子庙, Wang Bin Guji Guan Sheng Fuzi Miao) Santa Cruz, Manila (map)
  42. Si Ong Hu Buddhist Temple (古坑四王府, Gu Keng Si Wang Fu) Santa Cruz, Manila (map)
  43. Central Northern Luzon Tarlac Temple (普濟寺, Puji Si), Tarlac City (map)
  44. Buddhist Temple of Darma Enlightenment Foundation Inc (Tibetan; Nyingma Palyul Chang Chub Dargye Dharma Center) Santa Mesa, Manila (map)
  45. Philippine Karma Kagyu Buddhist Society (Tibetan) Santa Mesa, Manila (map)
  46. Nedo Bodhi Karma Kagyu Dharma Foundation (Tibetan) Santa Mesa, Manila (map)
  47. Almighty Buddhist Temple Inc (Chinese name not available; the very existence is iffy) Malate, Manila (map)
  48. Guatama [sic] Chinese Temple (聖靈寺, Sheng Ling Si) Quezon City, Manila (map)
  49. Goddess of Peace Statue (観音菩薩, Kannon Bosatsu) Clark, Pampanga (map)
  50. Wisdom Park (no Chinese name; well-known Buddhist center) Quezon City, Manila (map)

Kim Luan Yuyuan in Malate, the first Daoist Temple I visited in the Philippines

Definitely Daoist (or Folk)

That "definitely"is aspirational: as I visit these temples, I will confirm that they are indeed Taoist/folk and not strictly Buddhist (and likewise I will need to verify that the ones in the list above are purely Buddhist). Though these temples may have Buddhistic statues in them (e.g. the Ma-Cho Temple in La Union has a statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva and a beautiful set of the 18 Arhats), their names at least are avowedly "Taoist" or folk in nature. They are given in no particular order.
  1. Bell Church (钟零善坛, Zhong Ling Shan Tan) Baguio (map)
  2. Chinese Temple (鎮池宫, Zhen Chi Gong) Gulayan, Catmon, Malabon (map)
  3. Chinese Temple (Name not available) Valenzuela, Manila (map)
  4. Ching Leong Temple (清龍庙 Qing Long Miao) Tondo, Manila (map)
  5. Hong Yee Temple (Chinese name not available; questionable location) Santa Cruz, Manila (map)
  6. Kim Luan Temple (金鑾御苑, Jin Luan Yuyuan) Malate, Manila (map)
  7. Kiu Pat Long Shiao Temple (九八凌霄, Jiu Ba Ling Xiao) Parañaque, Manila (map)
  8. Ma-Cho Temple (妈祖庙, Mazu Miao) San Fernando, La Union (map)
  9. Manila Chinese Cemetery (華僑義山, Huaqiao Yishan; temples inside) (map)
  10. Manila Po An Temple (保安宫, Bao An Gong) Malate, Manila (map)
  11. Ming Kuang Temple (明光佛堂, Ming Guang Fo Tang) Manila (map)
  12. Paco Hong Giam Taoist Temple (皇嚴無極天坛, Huang Yuan Wuji Tiantan) Paco, Manila (map)
  13. Philippine Bao Zheng Taoist Temple, Inc. (包拯玄壇, Bao Zheng Xuantan) Valenzuela, Manila (map)
  14. Philippine Kiu Siao Grand Taoist Temple (菲律賓九霄大道觀, Feilubin Jiu Xiao Dadao Guan) Santa Cruz, Manila (map)
  15. Po Chuan Am Temple (寳泉庵, Bao Quan An) Binondo, Manila (map)
  16. Santo Sing Kong Buddhist Church (廣澤尊王庙, Guang Zezun Wang Miao) Tondo, Manila (map)
  17. The Temple of Heaven Inc. (無極瑶池法會總天坛, Wuji Yaochi Fahui Zong Tiantan) Manila (map)
  18. Temple of Taoism International Inc (菲律賓道教泰玄都總壇, Feilubin Daojiao Xuan Dou Zong Tan) Malate, Manila (map)
  19. Teng Hai Temple (鎮海宫, Zhen Hai Gong) Santa Cruz, Manila (map)
  20. Thai To Taoist Temple (大道玄壇, Dadao Xuan Tan) Caloocan, Manila (map)

A little jewel: St. Pancratius Chapel in Paco Cemetery, Manila
Heritage Churches

We have visited a number of sacred sites in the Philippines, from Bohol in the south to Vigan in the north--and as time goes by I expect we'll visit quite a few more. Areas visited include:
  • Manila: Capital of the Philippines and site of numerous old churches
  • Baguio and the Cordilleras: the Summer Capital of the Philippines, laido ut in the frist decade of the 20th century by the occupying Americans; and the mountain ranges surrounding
  • Vigan: A World Heritage Site noted for its fusion of native Philippine, Oriental and colonial Spanish architecture
  • Bohol: natural scenery and heritage churches, across a narrow strait from the Philippines's "second city." We were fortunate to have seen some of the many historic churches in Bohol before the devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake of 2013, where many old buildings were left in rubble.
  • Pampanga: This includes Angeles City, where we now live, and some stunning heritage churches.
Below is a list of churches and other religious sites we have visited; I'll add more as we go along.
  1. San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila (map)
  2. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Intramuros, Manila (map)
  3. Paco Park Cemetery and St. Pancratius Chapel, Manila (map)
  4. Our Lady of Remedies Church, Malate, Manila (map)
  5. Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guidance, Ermita, Manila (map)
  6. Santo Niño de Tondo Church, Tondo, Manila (map)
  7. Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, Baguio (map)
  8. Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle Cathedral, Vigan (map)
  9. Bassit Cemetery, Vigan (map)
  10. The Grotto in Paraiso ni Juan in Narvacan (map)
  11. Basilica of Santo Nino/Magellan Cross, Cebu City (map)
  12. Church of Sta. Monica, Alburquerque, Bohol (map)
  13. Church of the Immaculate Concepcion, Baclayon, Bohol (map)
  14. San Nicolas Tolentino Church (with ruins), Dimiao, Bohol (map)
  15. Virgin of the Holy Rosary, Lila, Bohol (map)
  16. Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Loay, Bohol (map)
  17. Sts. Peter and Paul Church; museum and bridge, Loboc, Bohol (map)
  18. Nuestra Señora de la Luz Church, Loon, Bohol (map)
  19. Santa Cruz Church, Maribojoc, Bohol (map)
  20. St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral, Tagbilaran, Bohol (map)
  21. Holy Rosary Church, Angeles City, Pampanga (site of La Naval and GraciAngeles Festivals) (map)
  22. Archdiocesan Shrine of Christ our Lord of the Holy Sepulcher (Apung Mamacalulu Shrine), Angeles City, Pampanga (map)
  23. Crucifixion re-enactment, Angeles City, Pampanga (map)
  24. San Guillermo Church, Bacolor, Pampanga (map)
  25. Santa Barbara Church, Bacolor, Pampanga (map)
  26. St. James the Apostle Church, Betis, Pampanga (map)
Non-Tempular Sights and Sites

We have been fortunate also to visit some other places of significance in the Philippines. Though they are not temples or churches, they still have the sort of gravitas appropriate to this site.
  1. EDSA Shrine, Manila (map)
  2. Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila (map)
  3. Final walk of Jose Rizal, Intramuros, Manila
       Start: Holding cell inside Fort Santiago (map)
       End: Execution ground at Luneta (Bagumbayan), now Rizal Park (map)
  4. First burial place of Jose Rizal, Paco, Manila (map)
  5. Rizal Monument, Manila (map)
  6. Heritage houses, Vigan (map)
  7. Fort San Pedro, Cebu City (map)
  8. Lapu Lapu Monument, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (map)
  9. Clarin Heritage House, Loay, Bohol (map)
  10. Watchtower, Punta Cruz, Bohol (map)
  11. Sandugo (Blood Pact) Monument, Tagbilaran, Bohol (map)
  12. Independence Day celebration at Pamintuan Mansion, Angeles City, Pampanga (map)

Google Map:

  • Use + /- or mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Click to close the hand to move around.
  • (The two functions above are accomplished with two fingers on mobile devices.)
  • Click the square-with-arrow on the left to open or close the index of sites. (Works better if you zoom in first.)
  • Click the three-dot thingy in the upper right to share the map with others.
  • Click the "four corners" in the upper right to go to the full map.

Last updated July 5, 2019

1 comment:

  1. hi, there's also Marikina Sto. Nino Temple. But i have yet to find resources about its operations and history.