The Temple of Leah was built out of love. In a way, it reminds me of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal was built facing the Yamuna River while the Temple of Leah offers panoramic view of the city of Cebu.
The Temple of Leah is a symbol of a husband’s great love to his loving wife. A framed inscription was displayed by the grand staircase as an explanation why the Temple was built:
I constructed this temple in the year 2012 A.D. as a symbol of my undying love for and ceaseless devotion to Leah Villa Albino-Adarna, my wife of 53 years. I adopted an architectural and structural design that can withstand time and still be appreciated for a millenium so this Temple will become a landmark of Cebu where future generations of the Adarna clan coming from her can come and trace their roots and heritage. All her lifetime collections are showcased in the 24 chambers of this Temple principally for the members of our family who cherish her memory. [sic]
May this Temple serve as a symbol of great love of a husband to his very loving wife. – Teodorico S. Adarna
Mr. Adarna sure got the attention of the Cebuanos with its Greek-inspired architecture that will make you feel like you are in Parthenon, Athens, Greece. As of this post, some parts of the Temple is still under construction yet visitors are already flocking to take a #selfie.
How to get there
The Temple of Leah is located in Barangay Busay. You can get there in two ways: ride a habal-habal from JY Square Mall or if you came from visiting the Sirao Flower Farm, negotiate with the driver to drive you to the Temple of Leah. It is always a good idea to visit Tops or Temple of Leah after the Sirao Flower Farm so you can make use of the hired motorcycle.
In our case, we were visiting the Sirao Flower Farm during that time and part of our itinerary is to visit the Temple of Leah. A PhP 100 is charged per way per person (JY Square to Sirao), an additional cost of PhP 30 per person was asked from us if we visit the Temple. Our driver told us that since there is a waiting time, it will be up to us how much we’re going to add to the cost.
The place is packed on weekends, so be sure to head to Busay early in the morning or visit the Temple on weekdays to avoid the crowd.
Side trip to Sugbo Mercado
After our little adventure up in the highlands of Cebu, we opted to have early dinner at Sugbo Mercado, Cebu’s weekend food market. They first opened September of 2015, operating only on Fridays and Saturdays. But last January, they started operating from Thursday to Saturdays.
What I love about Sugbo Mercado is Banana Pancake Trail’s Pad Thai. They are TDF! The food stalls are different from the first few months I’ve visited but the BPT continues to prevail.
We ordered BPT Cebu’s famous Pad Thai and chicken satay, and Surfin’ Ribs’ pesto pasta to share. Most of the food ranges from PhP 65.00 up to PhP 150 which is pocket-friendly for yummy grubs.
It was a weekend well-spent exploring the attractions in Busay.