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Information about Goddess of Peace Shrine

4.4
14 Google reviews
Type
Religious Sites
Location
Goddess of Peace Shrine, Lily Hill, Clark Freeport, Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines
Distance From City Center
1.6 km
Family Friendly
Yes
Average rating
4.4
Number of reviews
14

Goddess of Peace Shrine

The city of Mabalacat in Pampanga was declared as the "City of World Peace" in 1998 by the municipal government and Japanese officials led by a Buddhist bishop named Ekan Ikeguchi. The city declaration was a joint effort to promote peace between Japan and the Philippines. The Japanese donated a tall Buddha made of granite which gave birth to the Goddess of Peace Shrine. 

To this day, a lot of Japanese pilgrims continue to visit the landmark every year to pray and pay homage. There is also an annual ceremony during the anniversary of the declaration of "City of World Peace". This event is attended by local government officials and Japanese delegates. The highlight of the ceremony was the Goma Fire Ritual, a Buddhist prayer ritual that involves burning of a thick bush to get rid of bad spirits.

 

Kamikaze Shrine

Along with the annual celebration of the City of World Peace declaration, the anniversary of the first suicide attack is also being recognized which happened in 1944. The attack was executed by Japanese Navy and Army men giving up their lives in an aircraft suicide mission that sank several American ships.

Controversy started when a life-size golden statue of a Kamikaze pilot was unveiled in October 2004. It brought mixed emotions to the public but local tourism insists that the goal of this one is to promote peace "using the lessons of war" and "not a memorial shrine glorifying Kamikaze pilots". The Kamikaze Shrine is located on the Lily Hill.

 

Lily Hill

Like the Kamikaze Shrine, the shrine of Goddess of Peace is situated on the slope of Lily Hill. This hill is the highest point in Clark, Pampanga. Though it is only 105 feet high, the little hill marks an important defense role by Japanese Navy and Army soldiers during World War II.