Bell Church - Atlas Obscura

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Bell Church

La Trinidad, Philippines

Visit a Chinese Taoist temple within the Indigenous lands of the northern Philippines. 


Located in Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet near its border to Baguio City is an elaborate Chinese Taoist Temple known as the Bell Church. It is a temple of religious, historical, and cultural significance for the local Chinese Filipino community of the province.

It was founded by Ng Pee of Guangzhou, China on August 4, 1960 and was known for its first few years as the “Chinese Buddhist Temple.” Meant to serve as a place of worship for the founder’s devotees on a belief system similar to ecumenism, the temple was remarkably built on an elevated landscape with a total of 10,000 square meters.

The temple features sophisticated Chinese gazebos, koi ponds, and guardian lions situated in front of the main worship temple, as well as dragons distributed across the temple’s gates and landscapes, and a Golden Bell that represents unity and harmony.

Intricate calligraphies of Chinese inscriptions line the welcoming walls of the temple. These characters can also be found in other areas of the landscape. Finally, the upper slope of the temple boasts of circular pagodas that offers a glimpse of ancestral shrines in the Chinese culture.

The temple houses a Chinese Filipino religious organization also called Bell Church. Following a long history of religious pluralism, the organization’s belief system revolves around an interfaith dialogue. This is further manifested by its five patron saints that represent Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Buddhism to which its devotees pray to.

It was revealed by the Ng clan and its devotees that the architectural design of the temple was congruent with the guidance of these patron saints as well as good feng shui or a harmony of individual energies with the environment.

At present, the temple serves as both a tourist site and the main headquarters of the Bell Church organization who have built other chapters across the country as well as in China and the United States.

Know Before You Go

The temple is sacred and a place of worship and visitors are expected to be respectful. The temple is a two-minute walk from the main highway and is accessible by all kinds of vehicles. Parking space is limited.

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February 16, 2024

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