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Temple of Leah: The Ultimate Guide

Temple of Leah is one of the most popular tourist spots in Cebu City. Learn about its history and reason for its closure.

front view of Temple of Leah
Source: PhilStar

Temple of Leah is one of the most popular travel destinations in Cebu City and is a staple in package tours especially within the Transcentral Highway route.

Dubbed as the Philippine version of India’s Taj Mahal, Temple of Leah is erected by its owner and Ellen Adarna’s grandfather, Teodorico Adarna, as a mausoleum for his deceased wife of 53 years, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. It is a 45-minute drive from the center of the city and is located at Landon Heights Roosevelt in Busay. Each visitor will pay Php50 upfront upon entering.

What to see in Temple of Leah?

Source: Facebook

Temple of Leah is an architecture of Greco-Roman style that sits atop of a hill overlooking Cebu City. After being greeted with the view of the city skyline, visitors can go inside the 7-story mansion with 24 chambers lined with Doric columns where they will see an art gallery, museum, and a library showcasing personal effects of the late Madam Leah. The centerpiece of the building is a grand staircase leading to brass figures of angels and of the queen of the temple herself. The statue stands 10 feet tall.

Temple of Leah column/foundation
source : fb @honeybaroman

The mansion covers a 5,000 square-meter area and has a main courtyard featuring a fountain, granite floor, two golden lions guarding the staircase, and several statues reminiscent of Renaissance sculpture.

History of Temple of Leah

The temple started construction in 2012 and despite the ongoing production was made available for public viewing in 2015.

The owner, who is now deceased too, wanted the temple to be a Cebuano landmark and a Php80 million-worth grand testament to his profound appreciation for his late wife that will last for centuries.

Teodorico Adarna is a business mogul in Cebu who owns the Queensland motel chain.

How to get there?

Visit their Facebook page to know more about the attraction. The place is open form 7AM to 6PM. You can get there via private or rented vehicle and habal-habal. Parking fee is Php100 for private vehicles parked inside, free if outside. You may contact them at (032) 233-5032.

Why is the Temple of Leah closed?

The local attraction was shut down on March 10, 2020. Its closure was driven by surrounding family issues and will remain closed until further notice.

A.S. Adarna Toursim and Recreational Park, the managing company of Temple of Leah, is sued by the children of the late Teodorico Adarna and is revoked of its rights and ownership by the Cebu City Business Processing and Licensing Permit Office (BPLO).

The company was handed over to Mr. Adarna’s second wife, A.S. Adarna, after his passing in 2018. She is said to have refused her late husband’s children and legal heirs their property rights. The company also had troubles outside of the second wife’s squabble with the Adarna offsprings that concern tax evasion and failure to comply with business permits.

What happens next?

The Adarnas subsequently sued the second Mrs. Adarna and won the case, gaining ownership of the property. There are talks of renaming the place since their late mother who is the temple’s namesake was a shy woman.

Whether or not it will open once more for the public remains to be seen.

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