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cebu, phillippines




Taoist rituals


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episode transcription


Hello, I am glad to greet you, I am Yael Yancelson and today we are going to make a long trip to a little corner of the Philippines called Cebu. We fly with the power of the imagination and the senses, so breathe, close your eyes and let yourself be guided, we begin.

We arrived in Cebu, it is a province of the Philippines, in the Visayas region, it is the gateway to many of the surrounding islands.


We begin this tour by visiting the Santo Niño de Cebu Basilica, the oldest church in the Philippines, and continue to Magellan’s Cross, to learn a little more about the history of the Spanish in the Philippines. The famous cross was placed by the explorers who accompanied Magellan on his expedition on April 21, 1521. We found this Cross in a chapel, which is next to the Basilica of the Holy Child, on the street that was baptized as Magellan. , in front of the town hall.

On a sign below the cross, it says that the original cross is below the wooden cross we are seeing in the center of the chapel. This is in order to protect it, since people previously took pieces of the cross as souvenirs, or in the hope of finding miraculous powers, for which it is currently protected.

This province was discovered in the Magellan expedition when the Spanish fleets arrived here in search of species, and both the Raja Humabon and his wife Humamay welcomed them. This is because they were the first Westerners to arrive in these lands, although foreigners from the East always arrived in these lands, in ships that transported porcelain, spices, iron, and other merchandise.

Magellan had a great influence on the culture because he asked to baptize all the natives in the Catholic faith. The expedition was ultimately left in the hands of Juan Sebastián Elcano, who returned to Spain and together with the members of the expedition were the first to give around the world To this day, the legacy of Magellan is still present in the city, and Christianity remains strong in this culture.


Other important historical attractions are the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Fort San Pedro. What if we enter the Taoist temple that crowns the city on one of its hills and represents the Chinese community that lives in Cebu? The Cebu Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills, a high-standard neighborhood located on the outskirts of the city that was built in 1972 thanks to a large collection carried out by the Chinese community that lived in Cebu, looking for a place where they could satisfy their spiritual needs.

Look at the panoramic views of the whole city and let’s climb this stairway of 81 steps, one for each chapter of the Taoist scriptures, after you have caught your breath, you will see the main hall of the temple, it amazes me with its architecture, its different dragons watching From the roof and, obviously, because of the beautiful views, can you see the island of Mactan far away and catch a glimpse of the coast of Bohol? Beautiful right?

We will spend some time walking around the temple and getting to know its different spaces. The great viewpoint overlooking the gardens, the small pond full of turtles, the pagoda next to the main temple… Take your time and enjoy the peace and quiet of the place.

At the back of the Cebu Taoist Temple is what is one of the most picturesque places in the sanctuary and an ideal setting to take a picture Here, below we will see a beautiful and colorful small-scale replica of the Great Wall of China and a huge dragon defining what is the back door of the enclosure.

The guides of the place have told us about a ritual to receive God’s answer to any question that is asked. Whether you are a believer or not, the truth is that it is interesting to share the experience with a member of the temple and get to know their beliefs more closely and this is what we must do:

First, you must clean your hands well, an act that symbolizes purity.

Then you must light one of the incense sticks that you will see available there and bow to the main altar.

Next, you must take two kidney-shaped wooden blocks and drop them. If both land with their concave side up, it means that you cannot ask your question because at that moment you are not ready to talk to God and you will have to come back another day. If one goes up and one goes down, you’ll have a free hand to ask your question. In case both fall down, you will have to agree and try to contact the divinity again.

If you get YES, you are eligible to ask. Bow again, formulate your question in your mind, and you will receive your answer. In case both wooden kidneys are upside down, it translates as a “perhaps” and you will have to reformulate your question in a more specific way. So come on, let’s do the Taoist ritual!!

Did you know that there are a thousand waterfalls throughout the island? So let’s see the Inambakan Falls, the Kawasan Falls, Kabutongan Falls, Dao Falls, and Cambais Falls which have waterfalls and incredible natural pools, or the Aguinid Falls that after Kawasan are the most popular for having a system of natural pools of 8 levels.


And at night I tell you that this city is characterized by offering us a wide variety of bars and clubs, in which we can have an excellent night, whether you just go for a drink, or you want to dance and enjoy with your friends. How about we go to K1 Family KTV, which is a karaoke bar, which is perfect to spend a fun night, where the party never stops, and where you can have a fantastic experience in the city and let’s try to sing in Cebuano, which is the main language

And if you like to cook, I think it’s time to prepare our ingredients to go to the kitchen and make a very typical chicken marinade, click on the button, or if you prefer keep traveling

And that is how we leave this beautiful and interesting region of the planet with the desire to return. We will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to discover, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you every Friday and I ask you if you like me to share the content with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY. If you are interested in learning more about what the Inclúyeme Foundation does for integration into work and social life for people with intellectual disabilities and support, go to: www.incluyeme.org

We make a difference. And as I always tell you when helping others, we mainly help ourselves. Until next week and thanks for traveling with me. 

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