CHINESE temples are must-see sights in Bacolod City, especially during the staging of the Bacolaodiat Festival or the Chinese New Year celebration.

These temples are the Fa Tzang Temple which is strategically located on the corner of 6th and Anahaw Streets, Fo Guang Shan Bacolod or the Yuan Thong Temple at Burgos Street, 6th Road, and the Bacolod Yong Tho Taoist Temple in Camunsil Street, all in Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City.

These are not commonly visited due to some restrictions that are quite unknown to many Bacolodnons. But as long as the gates are wide open and the security guard is there to grant permission for one to enter the temple, it’s already a sure key that you will be able to gain access to venerable places like these Chinese temples.

When this writer got inside the Fa Tsang Temple, she saw C Ho, a Taiwanese Monk who only speaks Taiwanese and a little of Ilonggo. She was distantly situated near the sacred altar of the temple so I was a bit hesitant to approach her for a few questions about the temple and how they prepare for the Chinese New Year.

At the altar, the huge image of Buddha meets one’s eyes, and considering my lack of basic knowledge on how to act properly inside the Buddhist temple, all I did was bow down a bit to C Ho and send her a little smile but in return, I just got a blank stare.

A man who was installing Chinese lanterns just outside the temple told me that C Ho could not speak English and no one can answer your questions about the temple’s activities related to the Chinese New Year.

I got back to the temple and lit a Chinese incense to wish for the blessings of good health, peace, harmony, love, and prosperity for 2023. I included everyone in my wish.

This writer transferred to the next temple at Fo Guang Shan Bacolod located at Burgos Street.

The temple’s gate was wide open and again, and the security guard would be the first to respond to your presence inside the temple premises.

Yes, it is open to those who want to visit. But be sure that the gate is open because that is the basic sign that the temple is welcoming visitors.

The temple is solemn and again, be mindful of the dos and don’ts inside the temple.

It is a place where peace and tranquility dominate. People who come there speak softly in order not to disrupt the serenity of the place.

I saw a New Year’s letter from the head of Fo Guang Board addressed to Dharma protectors and friends posted conspicuously on a wall at the temple which partly says: May benevolence and harmony bring peaceful well-being. Let abundance and joy yield auspiciousness.

The Venerable Master compassionately explained that in the Year of the Rabbit, may kindness and compassion be the keys to wholesome outcomes.

“We are grateful to the Venerable Master for leading both the monastic and lay assemblies to develop a new vision of Humanistic Buddhism despite all challenges and difficulties,” he shared.

He added that this beacon has now been passed down to our generation, but we should only we look at the past but also make prospects for the future.

In the end part, he further wished everyone and our families to enjoy peace and safety during the Spring Festivals.