We weren’t supposed to be there but since we’re already in the city, my sister, Kaye, figured we could spare some time to test the camera I bought. It’s a secondhand Canon 7D Mk I and I brought with us the zoom lens for the testing.

Since I was shooting tight, I couldn’t really capture establishing shots of the temple. Here are some of the shots I took:

The first time I was here was when I was 4, during a quick field trip with the pupils one year higher above us.

We rode a mini bus and took with us packed breakfast and morning snacks.

I remember being overly anxious instead of excited. Every time I was like that, it seems as though my memory chooses to forget those scenes and dump them.

This is the reason why I agreed to visit this temple again after 12 years.

The temple was already modernized during my second visit but it was still utilized by some of the taoists living in San Fernando City, La Union and its neighboring towns and cities.

It is a Taoist temple to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu, built by a group of Filipino-Chinese devotees under the leadership of Dy Keh Hio.

The whole place swarmed reverence with a soft traditional, instrumental Chinese folk music in the background.

Since it was almost August that day, the sky wasn’t spotless of clouds and the winds were sweeping across the houses and blocks of the city.

There were only few visitors but everyone was reverently silent.

These are some of the photos I took in the temple:

T.L. Thornes is a writer residing in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. She was twelve when she started keeping drafts of her poems in composition notebooks. Since then, she has found an emotional outlet through writing. When she’s not writing, she can be found in the streets of her hometown, urbansketching, or in her room, writing songs and making art journals.

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