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MA-CHO TAOIST TEMPLE La Union and the legend of the Virgin of Casaysay

Have been dying to to this post along with a few other interesting topics which I experienced during our tour of Thunderbird Resort Poro Point last year. There were on four of us bloggers included in the tour and since the time was too short, city tour was not part of the itinerary. But since we had few hours of break provided for rest, we decided to go downtown San fernando La Union and explore as many attractions there as possible given the scarcity of time.Thanks to blogger Azrael and his research prowess! One of the places we visited was the MA-CHO TAOIST TEMPLE.

Ma-Cho Temple is adorned with Chinese motif of lions and dragons etched on camphor woods and massive stones imported directly from Taipei.It is located on a hill in downtown San Fernando La Union overlooking the South China Sea, MA_CHO is the first Taoist temple in the country with the original spider type dome made from interlinking wood carvings of saints piling up one after another for a total of 11 tiers.

MA-cho Taoist Temple La Union 
 MA-CHO TAOIST TEMPLE  La Union and the legend of the Virgin of Casaysay

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 The dome is a rarity. Yo can’t find something like it even in Taipei.Shu Ing Tung is the Taiwanese architect who supervised the installations of carved decorations from the temple. The temple, built by respected architect Thomas Diokno san professional fees, was constructed with big help from “Sunshine Joe”Aspiras, tourism minister, who made possible the solicitation and acceptance of imported decorative materials from Taiwan.

The moving spirit behind the temple’s construction is Mr. Dy Keh Hio, father of Aldrico Dy.The temple’s cornerstone was laid on September 11,1975 and the first bucket of cement was pured on December 5,1976. Today, it stands majestically on a more than one hectare of lot, about seven storeys high and an elevation of 70 feet above sea level.

There are nine other big Taoist temples in the country, seven of them are in metro Manila. The two other famous Taoist temples are the BELL CHURCH of Baguio (which I never heard of before and I should find next time I climb Baguio) and the Cebu Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills Cebu City (which me and my wife already saw during our trip there in 2009.)
 Taoist temple is a place for worship and for offerings. It is a belief among the devotees that those who enter a Taoist temple can communicate with the Gods. Through a session called buyong in the Ma-Cho Temple, devotees try to “communicate” with the gods and ask questions ranging from “will I become rich” to ““will my cancer get cured?”

There are no special days set aside for one to enter a Taoist temple.Taoism does not have baptismal rites to formally count one as a member of the sect. For those who believe in the temple, Taoism states that anybody, irrespective of nationality, is welcome to pray, to meditate and to offer at the temple. I like that!
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All are welcome, in fact, a catholic priest said a mass when the VIRGIN OF CASAYSAY (from Taal Batangas) arrived here for a pilgrimage. The Virgin of Casaysay enshrined in the Basilica of St. Martin in Taal is known as Ma-Cho in Taoism.

Legend has it that the image of the Virgin of Casaysay was fished by one Juan Maningkad in 1603 at the Pansipit River in old Taal. They are one and the same. The image at the Ma-Cho Temple was a gift of the Taiwanese fisherman to the San Fernando Folk in 1972, in appreciation of the hospitality extended to them when their boat was driven off the shores of San Fernando bay during a powerful typhoon.

Ma-Cho and the Virgin of casaysay are one and the same. The belief is that Ma-Cho is a Goddess of the Sea and has special affection for people residing by the sea or for those who work by the sea.
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Every year, during the 5th day of the 8th month of the Linar Calendar, the image of Ma-Cho in San Fernando, La Union, goes to Taal, Batngas for a pilgrimage and a special mass is said in the Basilica St. Martin. The image of Ma-Cho returns the following day to San Fernando and the festivity starts.

There are tens pf thousands of Taoists in the Philippines for the simple reason that there are many Chinese inhabitants in the country. Taoism has been in existence in the Philippines for more than 4,600 years. Taoism is a Chinese religion which began in 100BC. It was influence by Chinese folk religion on wherein their Gods are humn beings who displayed miraculous and exceptional powers during their lives. Taoism is the Chinese version of Buddhism.
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Learned a lot of new things indeed during this quich visit to Ma-Cho Taoist Temple in San Fernando La Union. Amazing!

HOW TO GET HERE: It's very easy.Once at the center of downtown San Fernando la Union ( which is around the catholic church),take the tricycle and tell the driver to take you to Ma-Cho temple.It'sm only 3-5minutes away from them following the Nationa Road leading to Ilocos. :)


  1. meron pala nyan jan.. nice place.. though nagulat ako dun sa isang pic.. akala ko may mumu, yun pala hindi.. churi.. hehehe :P

  2. ang ganda ng mga kuha. lalo na yung picture bago yung mga statue. sarap tingan. ganda ng kulay eh

  3. nice! I've never been in a temple before,


  4. This Taoist temple is huge as the one I saw in Cebu. Beautiful Chinese architecture and some are unique that I didn’t found in Cebu.

  5. This Taoist temple is huge as the one I saw in Cebu. Beautiful Chinese architecture and some are unique that I didn’t found in Cebu.

  6. ganda ng mga statues sa mga temples. nakakatakot pero nakakaaliws. :D

  7. hahaha naalala ko ito
    may tourist na dumating tapos nakiusap ka picture take tayo sa camera mo hehhehe

    alam ko travel blogger din daw sya

  8. grabe.10 years bago ko nablog.hahaha.Yung church ruins na pinuntahan natin diko n matandaan name.nablog mo ba yun?:D

  9. Nice informative article. thanks for sharing and keep sharing such kind of articles, as these articles really helpful for experienced and new comers..


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