Editors Note: This is the 21st 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.
21. Tien Tiok Am 天竺庵
1319 Narra cor. Padre Algue Streets Tondo, Manila | Tel.: 253-3363
During the Cultural Revolution in China, a Guanyin statue from the Tian Tiok Am (Tian Zhu An) in Gupo (古婆莊), Jinjiang, was brought to Manila by a devotee.
A small room rented on Soler Street was used as a chapel. As devotees increased, a board of directors was formed and plans were made to build a bigger shrine.
Under the leadership of the Wu Jinzhen (吳金鍼) couple, the shrine on Narra Street was built, opening in 1984 and formally inaugurated in 1986.
Main buildings. The modest building has two floors. The ground floor has an open area that serves as a dining hall, with a small kitchen at the back. The shrine to Guanyin is on the second floor, with an altar to the Jade Emperor facing the balcony.
Leadership and primary activities. A lay board of directors manages the place and invites a lay sister to reside and care for the place.
The first lay sister, Yangmo (楊摩), was invited from Hwa Chong Temple. At present, Yamiao (婭妙) is in charge. Every fourth day of the lunar month, a monk from Hwa Chong Temple comes to lead a chanting service.
The feast days of Guanyin, Shakyamuni Buddha, the Medicine Buddha, and Maitreya are also marked with chanting services. On other devotion days such as the first and 15th of the month, many devotees come for private devotions.
Twice a year, charitable activities are carried out at orphanages or homes for the aged. Every two years, the board of directors organizes a pilgrimage to Mt. Putuo in Shanghai. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 25, no. 23 (May 7-20, 2013): 14.