Cebu

Temple of Leah: A Taste of Modern Romanticism

Inhabiting the skyline of Cebu City are the numerous skycrapers which had sprouted in the area through the years. Topping the list is the Crown Regency Hotel located in Osmena Boulevard which was built on the year 2005. Bearing a height of around 460 feet, this infrastructure is currently the tallest building in Cebu City. It was not until 2012 when a man of deep love for his wife has changed the way people perceive of Cebu. From simply being a home of tall and high buildings, Cebu is yet to become the home of a glamorous, magnificent and romantic structure. I never knew an edifice of this kind is being erected here until various friends’ posts featuring this temple came flooding into my social media accounts. So, come with me as we check out what this fuss is all about.

Touched down atop the hills of Barangay Busay, is a breathtaking edifice that is yet to become one of the most unique and romantic tourist spots in Cebu City. Unique because it probably is the first infrastructure in Cebu to give its visitors a taste of Italian or specifically of Roman feel. Romantic because of how noble and strange the reason and story behind the building of this structure.  

 

Temple of Leah began its construction way back 2012 by Mr. Teodorico S. Adarna, the owner of Queensland motels and the father of ABS-CBN actress Ellen Adarna. 

Hanged in one of the massive walls of this temple, is a huge rectangular manifesto expressing the heartwarming statements of Mr. Teodorico Adarna. 

“I constructed this temple in the year 2012 A.D., as a symbol of my undying love for and ceaseless devotion to Leah Villa Albino-Adarna, my wife of 53 years…. May this Temple serve as a symbol of a great love of a husband to his very loving wife.”, goes the words of Mr. Adarna.

    

I had the chance to visit the Temple of Leah last April 4 this year. It wasn’t planned at all. Earlier that day, I lunched up with my bestfriends Vange, Cath, and Alpha to celebrate Alpha’s finish in college. 

Meet just three of my beautiful sisters from another mothers. (That’s me taking the shot, standing is Vange, to her right is Cath, and our celebrant, Alpha.)

After a sumptuous lunch at Davinci’s Pizza in Marina Mall Lapulapu City, my group decided to pay a visit to Temple of Leah. It’s our first time to check it out and we were really excited.

We boarded a jeepney going to Mandaue City where we can catch another jeepney ride to Mabolo. From Mabolo, we boarded a 04L cab which is bound for Lahug and from there we took a motorcycle ride going directly to the Temple of Leah site for a fare of Php75.00.

Here’s what greeted us when we got to the area!

Photo courtesy of Temple of Leah Facebook page.

The entrance to the temple itself gave us the classic taste of Italy. Its specifics aren’t perfect yet when we visited there but as far as what its construction has gotten up to that day, it will be a beautiful entrance indeed. 

A winged-creature looking afar that guards the entrance to the Temple of Leah.

The entrance does not only speak of its own glamour, but as well as of what lays ahead inside. The inside of the temple is nerve cracking! Not only because of the unique designs employed in the edifice, but as well as of the so much efforts put into building it beautifully and lovingly. At the first look,you can really tell that this temple is made out of deep love and care.

(Its really very crowded during our visit mainly because that day was a national holiday. Naturally, our pictures were so crowded too, and so I decided to borrow some well-taken pictures from contributors of Temple of Leah’s Facebook Page.)

Sounds like “The grandeur that was Rome.” Isn’t it? ☺️ (Photo courtesy of Temple of Leah’s Facebook Page.)


Inside this Roman-inspired infrastructure are 24 chambers showcasing the lifetime collections of Mrs. Leah Adarna. Unfortunately, the upstairs rooms weren’t open to public during our visit. We just settled and contented ourselves in the main hall.

I am really impressed upon seeing this design on the floor. Very classical. Very enduring.


Perched at the heart of this temple is the giant-sized statue of Mrs. Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Made in bronze, this giant statue of Ms. Leah Adarna stands at a height of nine feet. 


Photo courtesy of Temple of Leah’s Facebook Page.


Here are some of the pictures from Temple of Leah’s Facebook Page which showcase the other parts of this structure we unfortunately had not been able to visit.

If I guess it right, I think this is the second floor landing. 😉


This room is actually located just in the ground landing of the temple. However, its not available for public viewing during our visit.

Temple of Leah also houses an art gallery and a museum to showcase Mrs. Leah Adarna’s lifetime art collections.

The best part of the place for me, aside from the area where Mrs. Adarna’s statue lies, are the staircases. The balusters of the staircases are shaped with a very personal touch I must say. Each baluster carries a miniature of a winged-woman holding a bouquet of flowers. I highly commend the designers of this edifice for fashioning the balusters so peculiarly that it cannot be mistaken that this temple is for and only for Mrs. Leah Adarna.  You can really tell how Leah’s husband adore and love her. This temple is like a celebration of feminity! (Like Dan Brown calls it in his novels. 😄

  


  

Here’s how it looks in the outside by the way! 😄😄😄

We tried hard to shot a perfect “jumpshot”… but we forgot to bring Cath’s Nikon and my Ipad just couldn’t contain the random chain of events. 😝

It really feels like I already have visted the famous Parthenon. 😳😳😳
Thanks to Cath for this wonderful shot. It looks like we’re beach bumming in the mountain! Hahaha 😅

As choosephilippines.com puts it, “A visit to Temple of Leah gives you a perfect view of Cebu, while bringing you a touch of Roma, Italia.”


The only downside in coming here was the fact that it’s still under construction. You can still see heavy equipments in the area, men working up and downstairs and other several working materials. Perhaps this is the reason why visiting the spot is still offered for free. I learned that its construction is slated to finish within 2015 or if not, early 2016. Once this one’s finished, we can all expect an entrance fee to get inside Temple of Leah. 

All in all, nonetheless, Temple of Leah is a very good place to visit. Despite its imperfect condition as of the moment, one can really say that this spot already  is a hit not only to the Cebuano’s but also to all those non-Cebu residents who have expressed their love and amazement to this very romantic infrastructure.


HOW TO GET HERE???

Since, I’m from Mandaue, here’s my itinerary:

  • Take a jeep bearing the sign “Ayala” (20A or 20B) and make the driver drop you at Mabolo Church.
  • From there, you can take a ride with 04L jeepneys and make you stop at JY Square in Lahug.
  • From JY Square, many motorcyles can drive you directly to the spot. Fare is around Php75.00
  • You can opt to ride with 04H jeepneys going to Busay if you want cheaper fares. Tell the driver to drop you at the streetcorner going to Mountain View Nature’s Park.
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