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Temple of Leah is a massive temple built by Teodorico Soriano Adarna as a symbol of his undying love to his late wife, Leah Albino-Adarna. This majestic structure quickly become Cebu's most visited attractions and dubbed as Cebu's Taj Mahal due to the similarity of the story behind their construction.
Temple of Leah, the Symbol of Love and a Mother's Legacy
Temple of Leah was constructed in 2012 by Teodorico Soriano Adarna, owner of the Queensland motel chain and grandfather of the actress Ellen Adarna, to honor the loving memory of his late wife, Leah Albino-Adarna, hence the name Temple of Leah. The couple has been married for 53 years, before Leah Adarna passed away in 2010. The grand temple reportedly costs 80 million pesos and took several years to build. The gate of the complex opens to a driveway that leads to the main courtyard, with granite floors and a marble fountain at the center. The temple itself was built using a combination of Greco-Roman Architecture and filled with so many artistic statues and sculptures. While some people considered the Temple as too gaudy and pretentious, it is nevertheless a testament of the unrelenting love and dedication of a loving husband to his beloved wife.
As the main centerpiece of the temple and the place where the bronze statue of Leah Adarna is located, the grand staircase of the Temple of Leah is definitely one of the best places to take pictures inside the temple complex. The statue itself is a 9-feet tall bronze statue made based from the image of Leah Adarna herself. At the base of the statue, there is an inscription that says: 'BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER Leah V. Albino-Adarna was chose Matron Queen of her Alma Mater, the University of Southern Philippines. This nine-foot bronze statue portrays her composure and regal bearing when she was crowned. May the beholder discern her innate beauty, poise and genteelness.'There is a signature of Teodorico Adarna at the bottom of the inscription'.
Nearly the entire temple complex is beautifully decorated and built using a mix of Greek and Roman architecture. Huge granite pillars, various adorned statues, exquisite large fountain, large hallways, there are just plenty of spectacular spots in this temple for any visitors to adore and take picture with. Some even says that this temple makes them feel like they are visiting ancient Rome or Greek. Even though the accuracy of that statement is rather dubious, the spectacular design and decoration of the temple is still worth it to visit and admire. If anything, it clearly shows the grandiose love that Teodorico has for his late wife.
The temple holds a lot of Leah Adarna collections, which was housed in 24 chambers inside the temple. There is an art gallery that contains various art objects from paintings to antiques such as vases, ceramics, etc. The temple also has a large library filled with many books that belongs to Leah's collection. The bookshelf is beautifully adorned and decorated, while the books themselves are being carefully maintained to keep it from getting ruined. Since the construction is still ongoing, expect new items or even new sections to be displayed in the near future.
As the structure was built on top of a hill, it serves as an amazing lookout point to the surrounding areas. Visitors can see the entire Cebu city in the distance and even the surrounding islands. On a clear day, this provides the opportunity to launch a drone to capture a captivating photo of Cebu city seen from uphill. If drones are somewhat too exclusive, you can just use a selfie stick and find the right angle to capture the beauty of Cebu city and its outlying areas. Since the temple is quite large, there are plenty of good spots for you to take a picture. Just make sure you bring a camera with a good quality with you!
How to Get Tickets?
Admission fee of 50 pesos is required to enter this temple complex. You can pay the fee directly at the entrance or make a booking via phone or contact their Facebook page.
How To Get Around?
Most of the area is accessible by foot, however, those with walking impairment might require assistance to traverse through some sections, especially the one with stairs.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dress code, but you should plan your attire according to the weather. Sometimes it can get pretty hot so you might want to wear something light and apply sunscreen to prevent your skin from being burned.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the temple is during weekdays, when there are less tourists around so you can freely take the picture without having to worry about getting crowded. During off-holiday season is great as well if you are traveling from overseas.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, most of the attractions inside the temple is self-explanatory and most of the tourists are more interested in admiring the view or taking pictures, so taking a guide is non-compulsory.
How To Get There?
From downtown Cebu, head to the University of San Carlos in front of Jollibee and take a jeepney going to JY square and then switch jeepney with the one going to Busay and ask to be dropped off at the mountain view highway intersection. From there, you can walk to the Temple of Leah. Another option is to take a habal-habal ride from the JY square straight to the Temple of Leah.