Cebu’s Temple of Leah and Sirao Gardens

The only chance I get to visit Cebu is because of work and I have always told myself that I must go back here for non-work related purposes. February rolls in and my boss invited me to attend her wedding in Cebu. I went with my colleague and flew in Friday night. The wedding was Saturday, so we only had Sunday to go around.

Sunday morning, we woke up and decided where to go. Our initial plans were to visit the Temple of Leah and the famous 10,000 Roses that has been spreading like wildfire on Facebook. The two places were far apart from each other and we were staying near Ayala area which was in between. We decided to go to the mall first to have a look around while we finalized our plans.

I googled “best places to go to Cebu” and the actual nice places were far from the city. So we settled on Temple of Leah and the 10,000 Roses. We booked an uber and started our adventure.

Getting There

From Ayala Center Cebu, the uber fare to Temple of Leah is PHP 150. The area is a good 20-30 minutes away from the city, up to the mountain side (if you can call it that). It’s located in the town of Busay.

Our driver casually asked us how we plan to go back to the city and we said we’ll just take an uber. He offered to be our driver for the day. Pay PHP 150 to visit Temple of Leah, then another PHP 150 to go to Sirao Gardens, and then PHP 300 to go back to the city. We agreed because the price seemed reasonable.

I’m actually not sure if there’s a way to go back to the city when you go to the Temple of Leah (or Sirao Garden) because most of the people who go are in tours or have their own vehicle.

 

Temple of Leah

Temple of Leah is somewhere up north of the city, about a 20 – 30 minute ride away. It was quite high that my ears were already popping as we get there.
The Temple of Leah is also known as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines because it was built in honor of Teodorico Adarna’s love for his wife, Leah. Roman architecture was the inspiration for the whole place.

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The inside seems to take you in a different place.
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The majestic view surrounding Temple of Leah.

The temple is still under construction when we went, but what’s done and available to the public is already impressive. You can spend about a good 20-30 minutes there taking as much pictures as you want.

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When you go inside, you’ll see a wonderful statue of Leah.

I would suggest visiting either early in the morning or in the afternoon. The place is really high so it’s chilly when you get there. When we arrived, it was past 1 PM so the sun was really up. However it was February weather so it was cloudy and windy. There were a lot of people coming in at the time too so it was a little hard to take pictures without people in the background.

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The sun is up but it’s very windy!

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Taking a picture without any people in the background will challenge your composition skills.

And if you’re famished when you’re done going around, there are a lot of stalls outside that sell really delicious corn and fruits!

Sirao Gardens

About a 10-15 minute ride higher up was Sirao Gardens. The entrance fee is PHP 50. It’s a vast garden by the mountainside that has a lot of flowers which I think specifically grows to the kind of climate they have there since I have never seen those flowers in here normally.

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They have these flowers that look like sunflowers as well as real sunflowers.

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The place is dubbed as “Little Amsterdam”, and you can even rent a Dutch outfit for a small fee!
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The cold + flowers + a perfect weekend = a refreshed me.

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Even though it was cold, it was exhausting! They preserved the area as much as they can so it’s mostly soil that you have to walk around. Some steps were created through blocks of cement but that’s only at the main area. For the most part, it’s soil and it’s a little hard to find your balance (especially for someone who can be kind of clumsy, like me!). Nonetheless, it was so worth it and beautiful.

We got back in the city at half past six. We were supposed to head out to 10,000 Roses but apparently it’s in Mactan much nearer to the airport. We decided to just have dinner in Ayala Center and walk around because it would be too much of a hassle to bring our stuff with us or to have to go back to the hotel when we’re already by the airport.

It was the perfect weekend. I’m so thankful that I had a chance to see different parts of Cebu and I can’t wait until I get to visit again.

 

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