Philippines Report

LOOK: Temple of Leah, the Taj Mahal of Cebu

CEBU CITY — Temple of Leah, dubbed as “Cebu’s Taj Mahal,” is a grand gesture of love from a husband to his late wife.

But unlike the Taj Mahal, which is a mausoleum, Temple of Leah is a shrine holding the memory and treasures of Leah Albino-Adarna, the late wife of Teodorico Soriano Adarna. The two are grandparents of actress Ellen Adarna.

Some say the temple, which is now one of Cebu’s most visited new attractions, is gaudy and a bit too much. It is a must-see, however, to those who are curious how an act of love worth P80 million (reportedly) looks like.

The Adarna family, which runs the motel chain Queensland in Cebu, opened Temple of Leah to the public two years ago. Construction started in 2012 and is still ongoing.

The temple is a 45-minute drive from the city center, and entrance fee is at P50.

“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 design that can withstand time and still be appreciated for a millennium so this temple will become a landmark of Cebu, where future generations of the Adarna clan …can come and trace their roots and heritage,” explains a brass plaque plastered on the wall beside Leah’s statue.

Located on top of the hill in barangay Busay in Cebu City, Temple of Leah is seven storeys high, and covers a land area of more than 5,000 square meters. The gate opens to a driveway that leads to the main courtyard, with granite floors and a marble fountain at the center.

The structure was inspired by ancient Roman architecture complete with Doric columns made of granite. Various Grecian statues adorn the corners and different parts of the building.

Two golden lions stand guard on both sides of the main stairs that lead to the portico that then leads to the shrine, which features a nine-foot bronze statue of Leah.

A brass plaque on its podium signed by Teodorico says: “Beloved Wife and Mother: Leah V. Albino-Adarna was chosen Matron Queen of her Alma Mater the University of Southern Philippines. This bronze statue portrays her composure and regal bearing when she was crowned. May the beholder discern her innate beauty, poise and genteelness.”

The main structure houses 24 chambers that holds Leah’s collection, from antiques to Chinese jars to a library of books.

News Source: ABS-CBN NEWS

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