We waited for our room-upgrade the next day before going on to our city tour. The hotel guard hailed a taxi for us and immediately took note of the taxi’s plate number etc. then gave us the paper with its details. It was not much use for me since the drivers do whatever they want. We were already inside when the driver insisted that we pay 750 pesos instead of the 600 that was agreed. It did not make much sense for me to make such a fuss for the 150 pesos (ca. 2€) extra. Reporting it to the Land Transportation Office would just take much of my precious time and energy. Going down and hailing another cab was not an option at the time.
Built in 1972, the Cebu Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision in Cebu City, Philippines. The temple was built by Cebu‘s substantial Chinese community. With an elevation of 300 meters above sea level, the temple is a towering, multi-tiered, multi-hued attraction accessible by three separate winding routes.
Unlike the neighboring Phu Sian Temple, the Taoist temple is open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike. A ritual among devotees is where one prays to the gods to grant one’s wish. The ritual includes washing of hands, going inside the chapel barefoot and dropping two blocks of wood. If the blocks of wood are both face up then one could make a wish. If not then it is not yet the time for one’s wish to be granted and one has to come to the temple some other time.
The temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze. Another ritual among Taoist devotees, which is done during Wednesdays and Sundays, is the climbing of its 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures) to light joss sticks and have their fortune read by the monks.
The image of Santo Niño de Cebú (Holy Child of Cebu), the oldest Christian image in the Philippines, is enshrined and venerated at the Basilica of Santo Niño. According to Philippine historical documents, the statue of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) was given to the wife of the Rajah of Cebu by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The friendship is depicted in Cebu’s cultural event, the Sinulog where street parades and loud drum beats preceded by a Christian mass is celebrated. Cebu has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and has several major churches, including the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño de Cebu, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Santo Rosario Parish Church, San José-Recoletos Church, Sacred Heart Church, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule, National Shrine of Saint Joseph, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Cebu and other Christian churches, as well as several other non-Catholic churches, mosques and temples.
We went to Magellan’s Cross next. The cross was said to be the original cross planted by Magellan during his Christianization of the islands.