Often times, I find myself more comfortable shooting alone, because I can focus more on my shots and I can go unnoticed by people. Also, some places are more beautiful if you shoot it alone, especially temples because you have to be silent; you need to find peace to capture the feel of the place in your photos.
Only a few temples in the Philippines are open for public visits, and the Lon Wa Buddhist temple, located in Davao, is one of them. On my second time at Davao (because of my work), I was able to visit the said temple. The place, in my opinion, is quite big, though I have only seen one before this. It has a Chinese school inside.
When I entered the big red open gates, I was approached by a guard. He seemed nice, though I thought he will ask me to stop taking photos. But he just asked me where I was from to which I answered, “I’m from Manila. Is it okay to take photos?”. In a calm voice, he answered “Yes, you can even come inside. Just make sure that when you go in, take off your shoes, and before you leave, if you want, you can leave donation for the temple.”
Visitors are only allowed to enter in three of the rooms in the temple. The first room I entered is Ganesha’s room, which smelled of incense. The second one looks like a study room, I think its the office. The third was Buddha’s room. This is where you are required to take of you shoes. When I entered there, were three ladies cleaning the place, but I did not mind them; I just clicked my shutter and walked silently, observing, savoring the peaceful ambiance.
During my stay at the temple, I felt relaxed, and somehow I forgot how busy I was. I truly hope that when I get back to Davao, I will be able to go back to the place and find peace again.