A recently dedicated meetinghouse in the Philippines is located just 50 feet away from the nearest one.
The Kamputhaw chapel in Lahug, Cebu City, was dedicated Sunday, July 2, by Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventy and Philippines Area president. It is part of the Cebu Philippines Temple complex and was built next to the Cebu Philippines Stake center. Images and video from the event were shared on the Church’s Philippines Area Facebook page.
The new chapel is one of two recently noteworthy new Church meetinghouses in Philippines, which also saw the creation of a long-awaited branch and the unveiling of a timeline depicting notable Church history events in the nation.
The neighboring meetinghouses in Cebu City are separated by a parking lot — the width of a basketball court across. It’s the shortest distance between two chapels in the Philippines, according to the Philippines Area Facebook page.
Elder Wakolo pointed out in a separate post how the temple is visible between the two meetinghouses.
“Let us never turn our backs on the temple. I invite you to love the temple,” he said.
Elder Wakolo invited members to renew and recommit by dedicating their lives to the Savior Jesus Christ.
The three congregations in the new building are the Busay 1st Ward, Kamputhaw Ward and Oppra Ward.
The dedication celebration included community and religious leaders and cultural dances.
There are more than 833,000 members of the Church in the Philippines with 1,256 characters and 23 missions. There are eight temples dedicated, under construction or announced in the Philippines. Two operating temples are in Manila and Cebu City, four under construction are in Alabang, Davao, Urdaneta and Bacolod. Two are announced for Cagayan de Oro and Tacloban City.
Groundbreaking for 3rd chapel in Lapu-Lapu
On June 25, leaders broke ground for a third meetinghouse in Lapu-Lapu City, “marking the exponential growth of the Church’s membership on the island,” reported a Facebook post about the event. Elder Edmarc Dumas, Area Seventy, presided over the event. The city is on an island next to Cebu City.
First branch created on Romblon
The first branch on the island of Romblon was created on May 1, when 40 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered at Harbour Chateux Hotel in Odiongan.
It was one of six areas in the Philippines that didn’t have a Church unit, according to the Church’s Philippines Newsroom.
The Odiongan Romblon Branch was organized under the direction of Philippines Cavite Mission President Darwin Cauilan and Mindoro Oriental Philippines District President Immanuel Asis.
President Cauilan and his wife, Sister Michelle Cauilan, several missionaries, met with island residents Terry and Karen Motiuk, a couple from Canada and he had served in the Philippines, and Carlos Cabaliza, also a returned missionary who had served in the Philippines. The group met with the Odiongan Mayors Trina Alejandra Firmalo-Fabic and Vice Mayor Diven Dimaala and San Andres Mayor Arsenio Gadon and Vice Mayor Joel Ibanez.
Alfonso Mario and Vilma Salem and their five children moved to Romblon in 2012 after joining the Church in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, in 2011. Their family has been praying for missionaries to come for almost a decade, the Salems recounted on the Church’s Philippines Newsroom.
Liel Maala, Church History manager in the Philippines, said, “Looking at the handful of Latter-day Saints that are Romblon pioneers makes me excited for the future of the Church here. They are humble and willing to serve.”
Historical timeline opened
A historical timeline sharing the Church’s history in the Philippines opened on July 7 at the temple tunnel near the Manilla Philippines Temple.
For the past year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been celebrating the 60th anniversary of when then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the Philippines for missionary work on the morning of April 28, 1961.
Member-pioneers Elder Augusto Lim, who was baptized in 1964, and Sister Nenita Gapiz, baptized in 1961, were joined in the ribbon cutting and celebration, the Philippines Area shared on its Facebook page.
In 1973, Elder Lim was called and served as the first stake president of the Manila Philippines Stake. He was later called and sustained to become the first Filipino General Authority in 1992.