Completing the trilogy that is our quick getaway to the mountains of Cebu is our visit to Temple of Leah. Around 15 minutes of ups and downs from Sirao peak, we arrived at the temple which is along the same slope as Mountain View and Lantaw.
It was very crowded as several people also had the idea of visiting the temple since it was a nationwide holiday. You pay Php50 as entrance fee at the gigantic gate of the temple. You will then be welcomed by a massive open space with benches at the side giving you a place to sit and view the beauty of Cebu. At the center of the open space, a fountain with three ladies and water-spitting fishes and horses can be seen.
You can then step up to the temple proper where constructions are still on going, so be careful! The upper floor of the temple was closed, as well as the inside, so there wasn’t much to look at.
A gold Leah sits towering over the visitors at the center of the building. She’s the late wife of Teodorico, who built this temple for her. The first time I heard about the background of why this temple exists, I was stunned and secretly thought “man, my boyfriend should step up and build me a temple BEFORE I die”. But of course, I was only kidding.. maybe.
This kind of made-with-love structures aren’t common but not something new, Taj Mahal is probably the most famous. It was built to house an emperor’s favorite wife, and now, it is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Maybe Temple of Leah will receive the same kind of reverence once it’s finished.
Despite the continuing construction, you can already observe the intricate details in every piece that you can find in and out of the temple.
Even the flooring is beautifully designed.
These jars are also things of beauty!
No one was allowed inside the rooms of the temple but I can’t help but sneakily (I didn’t go in, I swear!) took a picture of this bookshelf that I’m very jealous of. A bookworm’s dream, indeed!
Statues that resembles Ancient Greek sculptures are in every corner of the tourist site.
This archer with his invisible bow and arrow stands tall at the front-right corner when facing the temple. It seems like he’s shooting for the city. His bow and arrow may be invisible but, in true Grecian sculpture style, his genitals aren’t (as most of the male monuments). I feel like I should point that out… for reasons that we’re all immature kids when we see one, ha!
You can see a glimpse of the city from the inside of the temple.
If you haven’t visited Temple of Leah, I advise that you go when it’s not the weekend or nationwide holiday (although, that can be quite tricky for students and 9-to-5 professionals) so that it will be less crowded. Also, if you can wait out for months, then maybe wait until all of the temple is finished.
The Sirao flower farm (where we started this trip) is approximately 30 minutes away from J.Y. Square, Lahug via habal-habal (motorbike). You may also use a private car and drive up the Transcentral Highway. Our trip consisted of the Sirao garden, peak and Temple of Leah and it costed us, Php 250 each. The ride to Sirao isn’t as scary as going to Tops. Rarely had those 45 degrees slopes and the cool breeze was quite nice. However, the ride to temple of Leah is very steep, you might want to use a car that can really climb up.