Chinese Buddhist temples of the Philippines (22)

Editors Note: This is the 22nd 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.

22. Tian Lian Temple 天蓮寺
678 A. Bonifacio Rd., Balintawak, Quezon City | Tel.: 361-4598

This temple was founded by lay sister Xiuqin (秀琴), who became one at the Tian Lian Temple in Quanzhou in 1932, taking Xingyuan (of Seng Guan Temple) as her master.

Upon the latter’s invitation, she came to Manila in 1958 to serve at Hwa Chong Temple, where she stayed for almost 20 years. In 1976, wanting to memorialize her temple of origin, she decided to build a Tian Lian Temple in Manila. The inauguration was held in 1978.

Xiuqin died in 2002, and her disciple Haomin (浩敏) took over as abbess of the temple. Haomin had been given up by her parents at three and grew up under the care of Xiuqin. She studied at a Buddhist institute in Taiwan and was renounced under Kuanyan (寬嚴) of the Fuhui Hall (福慧講堂) in Singapore.

Xiuqin of Tian Lian Temple

Haomin is also abbess of Tian Lian Temple in Quanzhou, and spends most of her time there. A number of lay sisters, including a niece of Xiuqin, take care of the Manila temple.

Main buildings. The temple has two floors. The ancestral hall is on the ground floor, and the main shrine to three Buddhas is on the second floor. A side building houses living quarters and other rooms.

Leadership and primary activities. Haomin is still based in Quanzhou. The lay sisters, Miaoxian (妙賢) and Zhenyuan (貞源), reside in, and maintain, this temple. There are no regular activities but private visits are welcomed. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 25, no. 23 (May 7-20, 2013): 14-15.