Our eyes were drawn to this bright orange complex amidst a vast field of agricultural land. For a nonsecular destination like Tomohon in North Sulawesi, whose majority of population flocks to their Cristian Churches, seeing a pagoda, a stupa and a distinct Buddhist temple in this area was almost an oddity in itself. The Vihara Buddhayana Tomohon is one of the rare place of worship for the Buddhist minority in North Sulawesi that has become an attraction by the roadside in Desa Kakaskasen III in Tomohon.
A Meditative Ground
The Vihara Buddhayana Tomohon complex looks fairly new. The statues lining up by the roadside with their elaborate details are refined and recently made. There was no text about its history or I just couldn’t read it. Even for a Buddhist Complex, the guards and caretakers welcome guest and allows you to explore the area.
There’s an 8-floor pagoda visitors can climb to see the lush fields surrounding the area and the beautiful interruption of Mt Lokon on the plain. Follow the pathways among the manicured garden and meet a humongous turtle monument and fountain. I saw a family scatter some food flakes for some turtle in the fountain. I heard it is supposed to be for good luck.
A Buddhist complex it may be but the place offers a relaxing atmosphere for meditation. How about staying under the shade of a bamboo wall while listening to the rustle of leaves and soothing water flow of the fountain? Just looking to the horizon , the multitude colors of the plain from the patches of rice fields and flower fields and the pastoral scene of farmers going about their days. I can somehow figure out why the people who established this complex built it on this spot. The Vihara Buddhayana Tomohon complex is so conducive for meditation. From looking out to looking within.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.