020413 - The Urban Tracker (In La Union) :Temple Run from Redeemer To Ma-Cho

The elevating climb's final stop is a fortress on the top.
ome local folks pointed me to follow the route passing the Health center on Barangay 1 and ascend to the elevated part of the neighborhood to reach the Christ The Redeemer towering relic.

It took me no time to reach this word-of-mouth fortress topped up with patience where a visible statue is seen towering above the city.

 photo SAM_0061_zpsd55df9a5.jpg
Christ The Redeemer's signature hand stretch
 photo SAM_0060_zpseb0a22c3.jpg
Facing the sea, the towering statue is a head turner from downtown.
A redeeming feeling abounded once on the foot of Christ The Redeemer statue. The relic could be a smaller version but the labor of love and dedication is obvious in summing up the shrine. The sunlight was still bearable with the local kids having their playful stint at the foot of the statue. 

 photo SAM_0062_zps4eb7295e.jpg
The panoramic view of San Fernando from Christ The Redeemer viewpoint
The general view of San Fernando City here was priceless, riveting, breathtaking and looking at the monument with its open arms gave a sense of gratitude and peace to the great beyond. A glimpse of the angle of the bay from where I stood offered a good postcard remembrance.

 photo 858769_4551917755520_1387360607_o_zps0101289c.jpg
Site map of the Macho Temple
Another temple visible in distance seemed inviting. But this time, we needed to get back to the main highway where the main entrance is situated. So, after meeting up my team near Plaza, we ventured in another temple run. Time to conquer Ma-Cho Temple, gaining its ground starting from the highway point.

 photo 883293_4551910755345_687786423_o_zps65ea28a0.jpg
Parasols hanging about the entrance to the temple
Ma-Cho or ma-zu is a term for a Chinese sea goddess deity. From the entrance, a map mounted on the shed gave us an overview of the boundaries of the compound. The main structure here could be the office ornamented with these parasols.

 photo 861124_4551923395661_1328112750_o_zps5efa0b55.jpg
Some kind of ritual is happening inside the temple
Just a week from now, it's Chinese New Year. We proceeded to the main temple to seek blessings not without reading these cautions. Then the altar in its all glory gave us chills. Chinese men inside the temple were whispering some kind of silent prayers in another language. They looked like rabbis or monks but they were into some kind of a ritual. So we left them unbothered. 

 photo 858852_4551917915524_1508902495_o_zps94cc8787.jpg
Tablets that foretell the answer to your wishes as displayed on temple's entrance.
In tradition, you can make a wish using a tablet. The position of the tablets once they landed aground would indicate an answer as interpreted by the positions. Instead, I resorted to paying respect to the laying of the incense – of specifically 3 of them. But we were overwhelmed more by the calmness and architectural propensity of the temple.

 photo 884987_4551942476138_1898148234_o_zpsdf742cab.jpg
The structure symbolizing the 5 main door entrance
From its back is where the pagoda located beside the shrine of Ma-Cho. And over the gardens, the 5-door main entrance gave a spectacular view of SFDO. The garden itself, already a relaxing parade of Chinese inspired artifacts including the 12 gods that's something not to be missed for authentic temple experience.

 photo 887098_4551926755745_567686550_o_zpsf0f7dccf.jpg
A temple won't be around without a bell
 photo 882206_4551933035902_1005460342_o_zpscf8a6bc4.jpg
Exquisite Chinese architecture applied to the temple's overall design