MACHO Temple

Built in 1975, the majestic Ma-Cho Temple is located in Barangay II, San Fernando City, La Union, Northern Philippines (along the national highway, Quezon Avenue)

The edifice was built by San Fernando City's substantial Chinese community under the leadership of Jose D. Aspiras and Mr. Dy Keh Hio, father of Aldrico Dy.

With an elevation of 70 above sea level, the temple is a towering (about 7 stories), 11-tiered, multi-hued attraction on a more than one hectare of lot and accessible by separate routes.

Unlike the Cebu's Phu Sian Temple, the Taoist temple, like its counterpart Cebu Taoist Temple is open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike, especially the Catholics.

A ritual among devotees is where one prays to the gods to grant one's wish. Weekly, a "Buyong" session is held as temple priests read Ma Cho's message to the devotees.

Statues of animals, the famous towering arch, and the mediation room all focus on Ma Cho's oriental eyes which are closed while her hands are clasped together at her chest.

The temple is adorned by Chinese motif of Taipei lions and dragons (camphor woods) and massive stones. Its original spider type dome awes that beholder with the interlinking wood carvings of saints (piling up in a total of 11 tiers).

Tu Di Gong (Tho Ti Kong or God on Earth) is also venerated in the temple while Kuan Yi Ma or God of Mercy stands in the garden.

Mazu (goddess)'s (Ma-zeun, the Queen of the Heavens, Dragon Girl, and the goddess of the Sea) small icon in the altar has a Catholic counterpart, Our Lady of Caysasay (St. Martin Basilica in Taal, Batangas).

Mazu is the indigenous goddess of the sea who is said to protect fishermen and sailors, and is invoked as the patron deity of all Southern Chinese and East Asian persons. Born as Lin Moniang (Chinese: 林默娘; pinyin: Lín Mòniáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Be̍k-niû; Foochow Romanized: Lìng Mĕk-niòng) in Fuijan around 960 CE, worship of Mazu began around the Ming Dynasty, when many temples dedicated to her were erected all across Mainland China, later spreading to other countries with Southern Chinese inhabitants. According to legend, Lin Moniang was born on March 23, 960 (during the early Northern Song Dynasty) as the seventh daughter of Lin Yuan (林愿) on Meizhou Island, Fujian. She did not cry when she was born, and thus her given name means "Silent Girl."

The interiors of Macho Temple is filled with Chinese ancient decorations of art. Taiwan laborers helped build the building under famous Architect Thomas Diokno.

Mazu's 8-inch icon is at the center of the Temple's main altar. Yearly, 5th day of the 8th month of the Linar Calendar, from September 21-26, Mazu's image would be processioned to the Basilica of St. Martin in Taal, Batangas and back to San Fernando, La Union, of the fiesta, culminating in a cultural presentation.

The temple's attractions include the Majestic Five Door Gate, Bamboo Garden, the Liang Thing Pagoda, 2 circular pools or ponds and the golden emblem of a dragon, the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower.

In the exterior of the temple, the "Chinese 18 saints" (carved in stone statues) are worshipped at the entrance wall, facing the temple patio made of "tisa" or bricks in circular form. The courtyard has a pond of water lilies and gold fish.

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