Jossa Jumawid and Angeline Pioquinto, both 17, were among a group of young men and young women who had participated in Saturday evening's cultural program, "A Celebration of Filipino Heritage."
On Sunday afternoon, June 13, the youth arrived at the Cebu City Philippines Temple's complex with yellow tickets designating they were to be seated in the chapel adjacent to the temple. They were content – even grateful – to have a place anywhere from which they could witness the temple's dedication.
Shortly before the concluding session was to begin, ushers started directing members from the chapel to rooms within the temple. Jossa and Angeline are from Cagayan de Oro, from which it takes 10 hours by boat to reach Cebu. They did not have the opportunity to visit the temple during its open house. They crossed the temple door's threshold, took about four steps and stopped, looking around with apparent wide-eyed amazement at the beauty that surrounded them. Then they did the only thing their emotions dictated they do: They wept.
How close is the temple? "It takes just 12 hours to come here by boat."
While they could go to the Manila temple only once a year, Sister Badoles said they plan to attend the Cebu temple at least once every quarter.
"Going to the temple in Manila was a challenge," he said. "It takes 22 to 30 hours by boat to go to Manila, plus time traveling to and from the pier. The members had to save a long time to be able to go to the temple, usually just once a year. The youth joined with the adults so they could do baptisms while we attended sessions."