Chinese Buddhist temples of the Philippines (12)

Editors Note: This is the 12th 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.

12. Iloilo Fo Guang Yuan 怡郎佛光緣
13-A Fuentes Street, Iloilo City | Tel.: (033) 337-2002

While there are privately-run folk Chinese temples in Iloilo, this is the only properly Buddhist chapel or hall in the city.

In 1990, Foguangshan’s Ven. Yongguang was based at the Chu Un Temple in Cebu and invited to give talks in neighboring Iloilo City.

As devotees came to understand the Foguangshan brand of Buddhism, they began attending chanting and other services at their temples in Cebu and Bacolod.

In 1995, when the BLIA was being organized in the Philippines, a chapter was formed in Iloilo. Key members of this group collaborated to find a suitable place for their group’s activities, and in 1999, the third floor of an apartment building was selected as the Foguangshan place in Iloilo.

Main buildings. The Buddha Hall enshrines a white marble statue of the Buddha, with side altars to Guanyin and Ksitigarbha. Other facilities include a small office, refectory, and living quarters.

Leadership and primary activities. Following Foguangshan’s development in the Philippines, Ven. Juelin manages the affairs of the temples in Cebu, Bacolod, and Iloilo.

The local BLIA chapter, however, actively organizes various activities such as Vesak Day at a local shopping mall, children’s camps, a Buddhist choir, and visits to charitable institutions.

A lecture featuring speakers from outside Iloilo is held once every quarter.

Chanting services are held every 1st and 15th of the lunar month, the new year, and the feastdays of Guanyin, Ksitigarbha, and the Medicine Buddha. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 25, no. 20 (March 19-April 8, 2013): 16, 14-15.