Philippines Chinese Buddhist Temple 王彬古迹关圣夫子庙
The Philippines Chinese Buddhist Temple, 王彬古迹关圣夫子庙, is located in Manila Chinatown and dedicated to General Guan Yu, 关羽, the Chinese General who lived during the Three Kingdoms period, 三国, 220 – 280 CE.
Founded by the Chinese population in Manila, the current temple is built in 1979 and designed in traditional Chinese style. The foundation stone with names of building committee can still be seen.
General Guan Yu is a guardian deity to the Taoist and a Bodhisattva to the Buddhist. Although named as a Buddhist Temple, the temple reflects both Taoist and Buddhist influences, a distinct feature of Chinese belief systems.
The temple is housed in a high rise building with direction signs posted along paths leading to the temple to guide visiting devotees.
The main hall of the temple has a sculpture of General Guan Yu in the central altar. The general’s son Guan Ping, 关平, and the general’s assistant Zhou Cang, 周沧 stands by his side.
To the left of the main altar is a sculpture of the General’s steed, the Red hare steed, 赤兔马.
Devotees pray in the main hall in front of the General’s sculpture. Most of the prayers are recited in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect spoken in Fujian where most Philippines Chinese came from.
The temple organizes prayers during important days commemorating the General such as his birthday, and the day when he is believed to have attained his status as a Bodhisattva. Prayers are also made for well being in the family, prosperity in business and peace for the country.
Such institutions allow Chinese population in Manila to observe important events in their belief system and functions as a site of cultural reproduction and transmission.