BENGUET | A Quiet Afternoon at Baguio’s Bell Church | Lakad Pilipinas

Baguio Bell Church

I know I’ve been saying how I’ve been visiting Baguio City countless of times, but I’ll say it again—but this time, with a twist. I’ve been to Baguio City countless of times but I have never ever been to one of its more famous tourist attractions, the distinctly Chinese, Bell Church.

Baguio Bell Church
THE BELL CHURCH IN BAGUIO CITY

Now I really don’t know why I’ve never even stepped foot at the gates of this temple. It may probably be due to it’s out of the way location, which is, by the way, literally just a hop away from the city limits. Or maybe I was just not interested—watching people while having a cheap cup of coffee at Burnham Park has always been enough for me while in Baguio.

Baguio Bell Church Entrance Arch
DISTINCTLY CHINESE ARCHITECTURE

The only reason I entered the Bell Church really was that the jeep I was riding en route to the Strawberry Farm passed its gate. Ah so that’s where that Chinese temple is located, I thought to myself. Somehow it got me all curious, so I went back to the area that very same afternoon.

Baguio Bell Church Bridge
THE BRIDGE LEADING TO THE TEMPLE COMPLEX

Now why Bell Church? I’m really not seeing huge bells around, the only ones I noticed were the few regular-sized ones topping the temple’s many red, yellow, and green gates. And church? I’ve read that this is a prim and proper Taoist Temple. I’m guessing the local moniker stuck since Bell Church is easier to remember than Taoist Temple and besides, it’s two syllables less than its proper name.

Baguio Bell Church Chinese Writing
A WALL FULL OF CHINESE WRITINGS

The first thing I noticed as I entered the temple was the concrete stairs with undulating walls. Right along it were Chinese inscriptions. I have no idea what they represent but after seeing a few written in western words alongside, I’m thinking they might be names. Now names of what, Donors? Possibly.

Baguio Bell Church Dragon
DRAGON DETAIL

The pathways leading to the temple above the hill are littered with all sorts of Chinese markings, green-scaled dragons, and lions. If I counted correctly, I passed not less than four ornate paifangs or Chinese gates before reaching the main temple. I’m almost convinced I’m not in Baguio City if not for the cool weather.

Baguio Bell Church Lotus Pond
THE LOTUS POND FACING THE TEMPLE

A lotus pond, also used as some sort of wishing well, is situated at the center of the court fronting the temple. Unfortunately, photographs are not allowed inside the main “church” so I didn’t enter its premises anymore. Besides, I’m not really sure if curious travelers are even allowed to go in.

Baguio Bell Church Entrance Arch
ARCHES AROUND THE BELL CHURCH

There were a few students and tourists inside the grounds; I guess Bell Church isn’t really as popular as I thought it to be. But to be honest, I liked it better that way, less people, less noise; quieter time alone. This is a temple after all and people cheekily posing in front of the cameras seemed ill fit and mildly disrespectful to the place.

Baguio Bell Church Hill Temple
A PAGODA SITTING ON TOP OF A HILL

Multi-tiered pagodas dot the hills surrounding the area. I love how they seemed to mimic the towering trees they stand side by side with. It all seemed very mysterious and eastern-like to me. Very Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, as Westerners would probably say.

Baguio Bell Church Sunset
SUNSET AT BAGUIO’S BELL CHURCH

The central patio has a panoramic view of the surrounding area, and as the sun readied to set, I started romanticizing how mesmerizingly beautiful the Bell Church is gonna look with its proud red and green gates, its ornate buildings, its soaring pagodas, and lush old trees. It’s the perfect romantic location with a partner in tow. I hazily walked around and saw a signboard haphazardly posted along the grass. Bawal mag-date dito (No Dating Allowed). Oh well, I guess I have to remind myself too, this is a temple after all.

 


Bell Church | Baguio Taoist Temple
Address: Magsaysay Ave., Baguio City
Contact Number: +63 (917) 355-4788
Opening Hours: 7:00AM to 12:00PM | 1:30PM to 4:00PM
Entrance Fee: Free
GPS Coordinates Map: 16.431876,120.598431

 






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, February 16, 2013

12 comments:

  1. Nasa itinerary ko ang bell church this coming week for my Baguio trip pero baka i cancel ko na lang... dami kasing pupunthan kami e

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  2. Christian, ganda nung last pic... nakapa-panoramic at yung timing ng sun sa right side - simply gorgeous shot!

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    1. Thanks Ian. Sayang lang di abot ng sunset yung open hours nila

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  3. it's much much vibrant from what i remembered it to be.. but then, i last visited it when i was a kid.. :) nice shots..

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  4. Kala ko Taoist Temple sa Cebu eh.

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    1. Parang di ko napuntahan yung sa Cebu. Is it nice too? :)

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  5. hi.. good afternoon... plano sana namin magpunta dyan next week.. bukas po kaya ito sa August 21 kahit regular holiday.... what days po ba ito open? Thanks po.. :)

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    1. As far as I know, Baguio Bell Church is open everyday even on holidays

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  6. Btw may bago na pong time schedule ang bell church:
    7:00am-12:00pm open
    12:00-1:30pm lunch break
    1;30-4;00pm closing

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    1. Thanks so much for the updated Bell Church opening schedule! Will update the blog! :)

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