Chinese Buddhist temples of the Philippines (8)

Editors Note: This is the eighth of a series about the 36 Chinese Buddhist temples of the Philippines. Much of the information is from a thesis of Venerable Chuanmiao (Hsuan Chuang University, 2008), a Buddhist monk affiliated with the Thousand Buddha Temple in Quezon City.

8. Kim Sha Temple 金沙寺
1021 Upper Ongpin St., Sta. Cruz, Manila
Tel.: 733-6916

This temple was built by lay devotees to honor the bodhisattva Guanyin.

In 1955, a Guanyin image from Mt. Putuo (spiritual home of Guanyin in China) was brought to Manila from the Kim Sha Temple in Shishi (石獅), Jinjiang, Fujian. Shi Houjin (施侯錦) was in charge, and he began by renting a small room on Ongpin St. in which devotions to Guanyin could be carried out.

The number of devotees grew and the present building was completed in 1990. Master Zili (自立 of Un Siu Temple 隐秀寺) presided over its formal opening in 1993.

Main buildings. The temple occupies only one floor of the six-storey building. The central shrine is dedicated to Guanyin, and on the sides are smaller altars to Tiangong and Amitabha Buddha.

Leadership and primary activities. The temple is administered by a lay board of directors that selects a chairman every two years. The present chairman is Shi Zhide (施至德), the son of Shi Houjin.

Monastics from other temples are invited to come and lead chanting services.

The main services are on the first and 15th of the lunar month, the Guanyin feast days which they mark on the 24th of the month, and the Buddha’s enlightenment on the eighth of the 12th month. Every Christmas, the community prepares about 500 gift bags and distributes these to the poor. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 15, no. 19 (March 5-18, 2013): 14.