Bacolod Philippines Temple
The Bacolod Philippines Temple was announced by President Russell M. Nelson on 5 October 2019, at the 189th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Bacolod Philippines Temple will be the seventh temple built in the Philippines and the second built in the Visayas, following the Cebu Philippines Temple (2010).
In 2021, Church members in the Philippines are also celebrating the 60th anniversary of missionary work in the country. More than 820,000 members in about 1,250 congregations and 23 missions reside in the Philippines. Known as "The City of Smiles," Bacolod is the second most populous city in the Visayas following Cebu City. It is located on Negros Island in Western Visayas and is the capital of the Negros Occidental province. The Saints of Bacolod were all smiles when plans for the temple were announced. There are currently three stakes in Bacolod with a total of nine stakes and four districts on the island. Members of the Church on Negros Island currently travel to the island of Cebu to participate in temple ordinances at the Cebu Philippines Temple.
On 6 October 2021, the location for the Bacolod Philippines Temple was announced as a 12.3-acre site located on Bacolod Airport Access Road, north of Buri Road. The single-story temple will be approximately 26,700 square feeet. An 18,000-square-foot ancillary building — which will include patron housing, an arrival center, and a distribution center — is also planed for the site. Also on 6 October 2021, an official exterior rendering of the Bacolod Philippines Temple was released.
Groundbreaking Announced for the Bacolod Philippines Temple
Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Philippines Area, will preside at the event. As reported by Newsroom, attendance at the event will be by invitation only.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Bacolod Philippines Temple
On Saturday, 11 December 2021, Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a General Authority Seventy and Philippines Area president, presided at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bacolod Philippines Temple. Joining him were his counselors, Elder Steven R. Bangerter and Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, and their spouses; government officials; local interfaith leaders; and local Church leaders and members. A newsroom story of the event was published on Sunday, 12 December 2021.
According to the Philippines Newsroom, in the dedicatory prayer, Elder Wakolo shared how the Church members in Bacolod have sacrificed to travel to the temple. He said, "This temple will then stand not only as a symbol of our membership in the Church, but as a sign of our faith in life after death and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families."
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi echoed what President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said to young adults about visiting the temple grounds and preparing to go to the temple. President Ballard said, "Nothing prevents you or anyone else from visiting the temple grounds. The Lord wants you to prepare yourself to be worthy of a temple recommend and come to the temple as soon as you can.”
Elder Choi added, "May the Lord continue to accept your dedicated part and help you to prepare to be more ready to receive all the blessings of the temple when it is built. I want you to know that the blessings will be given even before the temple is physically completed."
A 5-minute highlight video will be published on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, at 7 PM on the official The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Philippines Facebook page and on the official The Church of Jesus Christ in the Philippines YouTube channel. The full video coverage of the Bacolod Philippines Temple groundbreaking ceremony will premiere on Sunday, 19 December 2021, at 7PM on the Facebook and YouTube social media accounts.
There are eight temples dedicated, under construction, or announced in the Philippines. There are two dedicated temples: Manila (1984) on the northern island of Luzon, and Cebu City (2010) in the country’s central Visayas region. There are three other temples being constructed: the Alabang Philippines Temple, in the Manila metro area; the Davao temple, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao; and a temple 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 Tacloban, on the eastern side of the Visayas region on Leyte Island. The temple in Tacloban is one of 13 temples President Nelson announced in the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in October 2021.