After a great start of day at Mines View park, I was wondering where to go next on a chilly Chinese New Year morning in Baguio City. Then I thought it seems just appropriate to head to the Bell Church, a Taoist temple and famous landmark located on the border of Baguio and La Trinidad.
Its only few minutes ride by cab from the downtown Baguio [you can ride a jeep heading to La Trinidad as an alternative], and with virtually no traffic, I got there in no time.
I immediately noticed the long queue that extended from the gate to the highway. Wondering whats up, I struck a conversation with of the locals while waiting in front of still closed gate. I found that the temple has a tradition of giving gifts during the Lunar New Year, hence the long line.
Several people knocked on the gate and asked something in their local dialect, probably inquiring when they can come in. Seeing the sign on the gate that says "Open 7AM", I figured the guard would let me in if I tell him I would just take pictures [besides its already a few minutes past 7AM]. So I walked up to the gate and asked, he glanced quickly at my tripod and camera, and ushered me in without a question. A couple of visitors followed suit.
I was expecting a festive mood, given that its the New Year, but was pleasantly surprised to find a serene one. I honestly think its the best mood to see temples and churches in.
I have been here a couple of times before, together with crowds half of which are camera-toting tourists running around taking photos of everything, including inside the temple where taking photos is clearly prohibited. This time its refreshing to see only one camera-toting tourist running around taking photos of everything [except inside of the temple, of course] - me!
I did not stick around for the gift giving, which would be later that morning, but they were starting to lay ropes for the queue [to make sure the lines are orderly] when I left the temple grounds.
Enjoy these takes: