Wednesday, June 9, 2010

LDS Cebu Philippines Temple: Looking Back and Looking Forward

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My whole family is looking forward to the dedication of the Cebu Philippines Temple located in Lahug,Cebu City on Sunday,June 13,2010.For my whole family and for those who have just joined the Church after 1984 (when the Manila Philippines Temple located at White Plains Avenue in Quezon City was dedicated ), this will be our first time to attend a temple dedication ceremony. There will be three satellite broadcasts in all Stake Centers around the country. We decided to watch as a family at the Novaliches Stake Center at 12noon. We specially ordered a white handkerchief for this occasion.

The Cebu Philippines Temple stands majestically on an 11-acre site with the church meetinghouse, patron housing, residences for the temple president and mission president, and a mission office in the background. This temple is the second Latter Day Saints (LDS) temple to be dedicated in the Philippines. Although all LDS Temples are really special to me (especially the Manila Philippines Temple where I can always attend session weekly), the Cebu Philippines Temple has a particular attachment to me for a different reason. I am literally involved in its purchase and construction!

When the plans to build a temple in Cebu City were announced to local church leaders last April 18, 2006, I was then the newly hired Church International Legal Manager for the Philippines since January 3,2006. The post allowed me to be involved in the contracting and coordinating matters relative to the temple purchase and construction.

So looking back, let me share some photos I have taken during my visits to Cebu.

February 2007 -The formation of the Cebu Temple Construction team and signing of all the documents for the construction.

June 28, 2007 - A visit to the site with my then intern Mark Poff (now my prince). The site is full of grass.

Media Briefing on November 14,2007

Groundbreaking and site dedication on 14 November 2007 by Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

March 14, 2008 - Laying the foundation

January 7, 2009 - Progress of the Construction

May 6, 2009 - Construction status.Visiting with my then boss Jim Pollock (and his wife Bonnie) and being toured by the Cebu Temple Manager, Alan Rudolph.

Open House for VIPs - May 19,2010

So, as and by way of looking back and looking forward,Cebu Temple Philippines will be the venue for my parents and our family sealing which like its dedication has also been a long awaited dream!

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