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Ma-Cho Temple – San Fernando, La Union

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While in San Juan or San Fernando, La Union, many historical and cultural attractions are near by, luring you for a brief side trip. You should definitely visit these places in your spare time if you’re in the area.


Ma-Cho temple is part of the itinerary when going to San Fernando or San Juan. First timers who would like to visit there are recommended to go with travel groups as written on the last part of the article. No sermons take place in this temple. Apparent Chinese culture, beliefs and beautiful architectural design draw people to this place. Though it is not the oldest/biggest temple in the Philippines, it is one of the best places to go for a side-trip when in La Union.

 The temple is located along the highway and can be reached by taking one jeepney ride. The Buddhist-themed arc below can be seen as you leave the jeepney.


macho collage 1_b

As you walk through it, you will then embark on a 5 minute inclined walk to reach the main temple.

Upon arriving, you will observe that the whole place is filled with Chinese-inspired architectural design. You can also see a wonderful view of San Fernando City with the sea further in the distance.


Every corner, door, post, wall, ceiling and roof is designed to follow the Buddhist belief that drives away bad luck. As you walk around and explore the place more, you will come across statues that have been part of their history and culture.

The dragon statue by the entrance is believed to attract good luck and block away bad luck. Many Chinese restaurants around Manila place one or two dragon statues at their entrance for the same purpose.


Inside the temple is a buddhist altar for lighting incense and making wishes. You can also talk to a fortune teller about your luck according to Chinese wisdom, if there is one present during your visit.


Where to stay (around San Juan Beach):

  1. Comfort basis: San Juan Surf Resort


telephone number: (072) 242 4544


     2. Budget basis: (starts at Php600.00/fan room for 2 people)

  • Lola Nanny’s Surf Retreat – 0915 418 4034
  •  Hacienda Peter – 0918 441 5475


Transportation: (Bus fare does not exceed Php500.00 for each passenger. You must tell the driver to drop you off at San Juan Beach)

  • Partas Bus Lines

  • Cubao, Bus Terminal

  • 816 Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

  • Telephone Number: +63 (2) 7278278


Estimated Budget (economic basis)

  • Bus fare (roundtrip Mla – La Union – Manila): Php900.00

  • Overnight Lodge contribution: Php300.00

  • 2 hours surf lessons with instructor: Php700.00

  • Van rental contribution: Php100.00

  • Budget for food and all meals: Php700.00

  • Others (commute fares and souvenirs): Php150.00

    • TOTAL: Php2,850.00




Author: Carla Pido  


Photo source:
All photos – from the author



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