Bell Church Cagayan de Oro chapter celebrates 26th anniversary

Dec 2, 2015

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New set of officers for 2016 inducted by Master Ng

 

Bell Church Cagayan de Oro chapter celebrated the 26th anniversary of its founding last November 29 with the induction of its new set of officers at its iconic church at Tambo, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.

The new set of officers for Bell Church Cagayan de Oro Chapter in 2016 is inducted into office during the chapter’s 26th anniversary held November 2015. The church is taking an increasingly important role in the spiritual and cultural development of members of the Filipino-Chinese community in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental province. (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

The new set of officers for Bell Church Cagayan de Oro Chapter in 2016 is inducted into office during the chapter’s 26th anniversary held November 2015. The church is taking an increasingly important role in the spiritual and cultural development of members of the Filipino-Chinese community in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental province. (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Rev. Elias R. Ng, Spiritual Leader and Head Administrator of Bell Church Philippines based in Baguio City, was the guest of honor and inducting officer.

 

The Bell Church Board of Directors include Lorenzo Co Tan (past president), Judith Bernardo (past president), Henry Hui (past president), Greg Marten Lao (president), Hui Bun Chi (executive vice president), Juan Sia (vice president), Quinciano Lui (vice president), Ricky Go (vice president/secretary),George Lui (vice president), Catalina Tiu (vice president), Adelfa Sia (treasurer) and Susan Lui (treasurer).

 

Established in 1989, Bell Church Cagayan de Oro is a chapter of the main Bell Church in Baguio City, situated atop a hill at the scenic boundary of Baguio City and Trinidad, Benguet.

Bell Church Cagayan de Oro at Tambo, Macasandig (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Bell Church Cagayan de Oro at Tambo, Macasandig (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Founded in 1954 by Rev. Ng’s father Ng Pee (Kok Fan), it started out as a dining hall in a dining hall where Ng Pee would preach. However, he transferred it to their residence at Km. 6 in La Trinidad which became the first site of the Bell Church, then known as the Chinese Buddhist Temple.

 

Rev. Ng recalls the first members were mostly Chinese farmers from the vegetable-growing town of La Trinidad. However, when the church moved to the present one-hectare property at Km. 3 in the 1960s, its name was changed to Bell Church.

 

“This became the perfect location because the hills remind the Chinese congregation of their home villages in Hong Kong and China,” said Rev. Ng.

Bell Church CDO chapter members undergo the water blessing rite under the watchful eyes of Bell Church Spiritual Master Rev. Elias R. Ng (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Bell Church CDO chapter members undergo the water blessing rite under the watchful eyes of Bell Church Spiritual Master Rev. Elias R. Ng (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

In time, the residence that served as the church was transformed into a temple as more support from the local Chinese community poured in. Rev. Ng said the temple was designed under the guidance of the saints whom they consulted on how they wanted it to be designed, both exterior and interiors.

 

The church got its name from the bell which was has traditionally been used by almost all people to summon citizens together or warn them of a threat. Today, the Bell Church uses the bell as a symbol of spiritual awakening, said Rev. Ng.

 

The Bell Church headquarters in Baguio has since become a hub of religious, cultural and tourism activity for the area. It has since established chapters around the country in various locations including Dagupan City, La Loma, Quezon City; Manila, Dumaguete City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Cotabato City, Zamboanga City and overseas in Hong Kong and San Francisco in the United States.

Some guests and members listen closely to the presentation (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Some guests and members listen closely to the presentation (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Its five patrons saints representing the World’s Five Great Religions represent Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.

 

As a cultural hub of the Chinese-Filipino Community, members of the congregation celebrate the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), Christmas Day and even Valentine’s Day in the Bell Church.

 

However, its influence on the social and cultural fabric of the local Filipino-Chinese community has grown beyond its religious and cultural reputation as a tourism destination in its own right.

 

The Baguio headquarters even has a gym where students learn martial arts, and the dragon and lion dances traditionally performed during the Lunar New Year.

Tai Chi Exhibition (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

Tai Chi Exhibition (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

The late Dr. Charles Cheng and Katherine Bersamina-Cheng cites in their 1997 book, The Ethnic Chinese in Baguio and the Cordillera Philippines how even Filipinos have come to consult the Rev. Ng to seek answers to the questions about the future, business, and romance, lending more credence to the Bell Church’s reputation of promoting peace, unity and spiritual healing.

 

In 2009, Rev. Ng was cited with the Gintong Tala Achievers Award for spiritual and religious services from the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in partnership with the city government administration.

 

– INDNJC –

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