Friday, December 31, 2010

Baguio's Bell Church

Along Magsaysay Ave., Baguio City
by lakwatserong tatay

Baguio City is a premier tourist destination in the northern region of the country. Aside from the majestic and amusing mountains, this pristine city is blessed with well-maintained and fascinating parks like Burnham Park and Wright Park. In addition, many foreigners visit Baguio City for its beautiful religious structures like Baguio Cathedral and Bell Church.
Baguio's Bell Church
One of the adorable and memorable spots in Baguio City, Bell Church has similarities with Cebu’s Taoist Temple that i've been too.Located north of Baguio along Magsaysay Ave., leading to the Capital town of La Trinidad, Benguet. This temple provides a peaceful, serene and refreshing atmosphere to Chinese people who want to meditate and reflect on their spiritual lives. In addition, the site has attractive features that reflect the history and culture of Chinese people.

Features of Baguio Bell Church:

Baguio Bell Church features a two well-crafted dragon structures at its entrance. It also features a wishing pond where people can throw coins as they say their wishes. Also at the entrance of the temple is a Taoist leader who predicts future events.
Viewof Two-well Crafted Dragons
One of the Two Temples
Temple's wishing pond
Taoist Leader
At its main temple, visitors can see attractive and colorful pagodas. The buildings inside this site have beautiful flags and bells, which are distinct features of Chinese temples. Most of the structures inside the temple reflect oriental culture.
A Center Pond
Another attractive feature of the tourist spot is its landscaped gardens where visitors can have quiet time with their loved ones. Inside the temple, people can see artifacts related to Buddhism. Visitors can see Taoist gods at the main altar of the temple. Above all, Bell Church houses collection of books and other forms of writing about the history of China.
Bell Church
Celebration of Spring Festival at Baguio Bell Church

It is during the Spring Festival or what is more commonly known in the West as the Chinese New Year that local and foreign Chinese tourists flock to the Bell Church. Like all Chinese festivals, the date of the new year is determined by the lunar/solar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. The observance of the holiday falls on a different date each year and it usually varies from late January to the middle of February. This Chinese public holiday is usually observed for 3 days although the festival traditionally starts with the new moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
It's been xplored
It is on the sixth to the tenth day of the 15-day celebration of the Chinese New Year that the Chinese visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair and it is a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration is traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.
Lsat look of Bell Church
Baguio Bell Church surely reflects Chinese culture and history. This temple serves as refuge to Chinese people who are in need of spiritual guidance. Many tourists in the city like to see the temple because it contains literature that mirrors the religious traditions and beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists. With all the historical and religious structure inside Bell Church, it is definitely one of the most recommended spots that travelers should see when they visit the beautiful city of Baguio.

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