Ma-Cho Temple

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Ma-Cho Temple

Ma-cho temple is a Taoist temple dedicated to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu, who is also known as Ma-Cho, Ma Zu, or Tianhou. The temple is located on a hill in Barangay II, San Fernando, La Union, Philippines, and overlooks the San Fernando Bay and the South China Sea. It was built in 1977 by a group of Filipino-Chinese devotees under the leadership of Dy Keh Hio and with the support of former Tourism Secretary Jose D. Aspiras.

The temple is a vast complex of stone carvings, fountains, pagodas, gardens, dormitories, and parking spaces. It has a majestic five-door gate, which is rare for a Chinese temple, as most of them have only three archways. Along the entrance wall are large stone statues of the 18 Chinese saints in different poses. There are also two circular ponds with water lilies and koi fish, and statues of animals that are believed to bring good luck by the Chinese.

The temple's interior is filled with ancient Chinese ornaments and has a spider-type dome ceiling designed with circular patterns. It has a meditation room with a grand staircase and red kneelers. The main attraction of the temple is the image of Ma-Cho, who is adorned with a traditional Chinese headdress and a richly colored robe. Her eyes are closed and her hands are clasped together at her chest, resembling the image of Our Lady of Caysasay from Taal, Batangas. The temple also has a bell tower, a drum tower, a bamboo garden, and a Liang Thing pagoda tower.

The temple is open to the public from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. It is a place for praise and worship, meditation and guidance from the deities. It is believed that those who enter a Taoist temple can communicate with the gods through a session called "buyong", where they can ask questions ranging from personal to worldly matters. The temple also welcomes people of other faiths, as Taoism states that anybody, irrespective of nationality, is welcome to pray and offer at the temple.

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Operating days & hours
Daily; 7am to 5pm
Address
Ma Cho Temple, Avenida Quezon, Barangay III, Tanqui, San Fernando, La Union, 2500, Philippines
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