Visit to Thousand Buddha Temple along Maria Clara and Don Pepe Street in Quezon City

15 Don Pepe Street corner Maria Clara street , Barangay Santo Domingo ,Santa Mesa Heights -Quezon City , Philippines

This is one of the largest Buddhist temple in this part of of the city . The temple is founded by a monk from Seng Guan temple in the mid- 1980’s who have some misunderstanding ( financial and teachings ) with Master Tuan Yin. 

The second floor had several hundred Buddha statues and the hall is also used for the ceremonies.

( left ) Doña King Pao Guat Typoco– prominently displayed at the main hall and ( right )  Don Ty Tiong Typoco

With the help of some local Filipino- Chinese like Dr. Lucio Tan and his mother , (Doña King Pao Guat Typoco and Don Ty Tiong Typoco ) mother and father of taipans Tan Yu and Don Jesus Typoco Sr.

Mr. Tan Yu established King Pao Guat Typoco Tanyu Internationale (KTTI) Foundation in memory of his late mother in the early 1990’s which provided scholarship among thousands of indigent students from all over the country. Mr. Sy ( manager ) of then Storck Candy  and some prominent businessmen with deep  Buddhism faith.

 Buddhist scholars and deities within the perimeter wall of the temple

The head priest was able to purchase a small lot and construction began shortly . There used to be several big time contributors living near the temple . Their donation of cash and construction supplies fuel the growth of the temple complex.

Quan Yin statue with Indian tree ( False Ashoka )  – Polyalthia longifolia

It is a favorite site for television , commercial and photo shoot, since the ground is well kept with manicured grass and man-made lagoon where hundreds of kois , red ear slider turtles are found.

man-made pond with kois

The Indian tree or false ashoka was planted within the compound the the late 1980’s to beautify the garden .

columbarium building

My grandparents ( paternal side)  , several aunts , uncles , relatives and close friends were interred at the temple’s columbarium units . I have seen the growth of the temple compound to what it is today.

Manila Buddha Temple is also known as Po To Si  or PO CHE CHIAM SI among those who frequent the place.  The columbary construction started in the late 1989 until early 1990’s where cremated remains have their final resting place.

columbary units ( one unit can hold 2 to 3 urns)

At least 8,000 to 10,000 cremated remains were interred inside the columbarium building since it was built . Each vault can hold up to 2 urns with 108 spaces length and 880 vaults . The full capacity of the columbarium units are estimated between 95,040  ( one interred inside the vault ) to 190,080 if two were interred .

live flowering plants especially orchids ( Phalaenopsis ) are  offered by relatives

The second floor (Dr. Lucio Tan’s mother is said to be interred)

temple entrance viewed on top of the temple and Philippine Buddah Care Academy 

In 1997, Philippine Buddah Care Academy is the realization of the Venerable Master Guang Chun’s aspiration a number of decades ago at the adjacent lot which is almost as large as the main temple. Whenever there is a need for extra parking space ( especially during All Saint’s Day , All Soul’s Day and Chinese New Year ) The school would open its parking area for the visitors.

Philippine Buddha Care Academy students

He and his capable assistant, the Venerable Master Guang Xue, the superintendent of Thousand Buddha Temple, commit themselves to the mission of spreading the doctrine of Buddhism to purify people’s minds and promote Chinese virtues and culture.

screen caption from MMDA twitter -August 17, 2013

During the first decade of existence, The academy enjoyed a robust growth in terms of student enrollments – However , after series of unfortunate events that happened during the succeeding years like mismanagement , a fire which started at a nearby shanty area and spread to one of the school building, caused a lot of damage to the classrooms and facilities.

burning paper -folded into bar shaped money for the dead and guardians of hell

There are also campaign by the temple management to minimized the burning of paper money which cause some environmental concerns on its immediate neighborhood. I just do not know how the others will react on this reminder. Perhaps , they should be burning their paper money within the confine of their homes.


Both the school and the temple had its own share of controversies . There are several accusations that the head nun Chong Yau Kan also known as Kwang Xie had been getting a lot of solicitations from the public even without rendering their services. The head nun and monks also go around funeral chapel offering prayer and chanting service for departed one so that they can earn money and racket by doing this.

facade of the columbarium

There are also accusations of exorbitant fees for memorial prayer service and wooden plaque at the columbary costing reaching around Php 180,000 ! I think the one which made accusation did not check that memorial prayer service was already quite expensive ( even before)  the simplest ceremony would cost at least one month worth of ordinary wage. Excluding columbarium vault.

I found these accusations preposterous until several people who refuses to be named keep on insisting that these are the ordinary cost. Mahal ang Padasal para sa Patay  ( Cost of Memorial Service for the Dead is Expensive). This is why they defray the memorial services , since they cannot afford the cost.  This was a different story when they bought the columbary units several years ago.

Some also say that the head monk and nuns are living in a life of luxury with several townhouses located in Tagaytay ,  Fairview and upscale house located in Muntinlupa .

I have nothing against the monks and head priest of the temple. But with several relatives and friends interred within the temple compound . I think , I also have some concern with regards to the persistent rumors about mismanagement and being mata-pobre ( elitist ) looking down upon those people without money or status in life .

They should be living in a life of simplicity and the teachings of Buddha .


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