When Mary Jane C. Sapan of the Ormoc Philippines Stake heard President Russell M. Nelson had announced a temple in Tacloban City, Philippines, she couldn’t contain her happiness.
“It was indeed overwhelming,” she said in a video shared by the Church’s Philippines Area. The video has reactions from more than a dozen members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Tacloban City area.
It’s the eighth temple for the Philippines. There are two dedicated temples in Manila (dedicated in 1984) on the northern island of Luzon, and Cebu City (2010) in the country’s central Visayas region. There are three temples being constructed: the Alabang Philippines Temple, in the Manila metro area; Davao temple, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao; and in Urdaneta, which is north of Manila.
Temples have been announced for Cagayan de Oro, which is on the northern side of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and Bacolod, on Negros Island in the central Visayas. The groundbreaking for the Bacolod Philippines Temple will be on Dec. 11. Tacloban is on the eastern side of the Visayas region on Leyte Island.
Currently, members of the Church in Tacloban are in the Cebu City Philippines Temple district, which is on another island.
“For only an hour of travel, we will be able to visit the temple with the whole family,” Chastity Onate of Canaga Philippines Stake, said in the video.
For Hinunangan Philippines District President Rodulfo D. Cinco, in addition to the happiness and gratitude he felt when he heard about the temple announced for Tacloban, he made a commitment.
“In that moment, I committed myself to visit and work in the temple,” he said.
While noting the blessings that a temple will bring, Edgie Daganosol, of the Cariaga Philippines Stake, saw it as a call to action.
“This just means for me that as members of the Church we have a lot of work to do in inviting others to come unto Christ and helping them receive the blessings of the gospel.”
Charlene Lagrimes, of the Catarman Philippines Stake, said that she is excited to work with others to “double our efforts to help our ancestors and to help families become eternal.”
Bryan Villegas, of Tolosa Philippines Stake, pointed to the hope a temple can bring.
“With all of the challenges we face, the Lord gives us the temple. And the temple gives us hope,” he said.
This year, Church members in the Philippines are also celebrating the 60th anniversary of missionary work in the country. There are 825,000 members in 1,250 congregations and 23 missions in the country.
Correction: The headline on this article initially had Filipino incorrectly spelled Filippino. Also, Tacloban City is on the island of Leyte, not Samar Island.