116/365: Places of Worship: Let Us Travel To Long, Phrae, Thailand With The Master of Metaphor As He Talks About Temple Wat Salaeng

26th of April

Jonathan 1Metaphorically Speaking is one among my favorite and “regular reads” blogs.  I had been back reading the entries from time to time.  The author might not know about my back reading because I don’t regularly leave comments on his earlier entries.

I love reading this blog not only because it talks about interesting topics especially about life’s journey but also because each entry is a well-written piece with perfect grammar.  I think I said about this several times because this is not the first time that I feature the author here.

I had the privilege of personally meeting our guest blogger Jonathan whom I had instant rapport with.  Probably I am bias in liking him because I was impressed first with his writings prior to meeting him in person.  But I was not biased at all.  Jonathan is a total sum of a naturally intellectual person enhanced by his well-traveled and well-experienced/exposed life.  It was not surprising when I got drawn to our conversation.  It was just a short meet up but it was a very worthy and interesting talk.

At first I though Jonathan’s writing is good because of his mastery and unique skills in playing with theJonathan 2 English language.  I thought also that all his writings are always on the serious tone.  The I realized he is a real versatile writer when I came across his hilarious article written in the Filipino language.

Jonathan is Filipino by nationality who has a mix blood of Chinese. He is currently based and working in Thailand as a teacher. He can speak fluent English, Filipino and Chinese and some few more languages.

Go check out his blog and get drawn with his metaphor.  But first let’s see one of his piece as he talks about one place of worship.

A temple, just like a church, is a place of worship, a spiritual refuge, and a man's home for those who wanted to serve monk hood for a certain period of time or for a lifetime. Travelling to Phrae, which is 55 kilometres away from Bangkok, was a trip of picturesque sceneries. The views over the countryside, the rice paddies, the long line of trees, the rivers and the mountains offered distractions to the long journey by car.
Long, Phrae boasts of a temple called Wat Salaeng. The entrance looks like a park what with its fountain and Buddha structures.


The vast property boasts of new structures in smaller houses of worship for different purposes.


There is also a portion where three huge Buddha structures are lined up side by side. They are made of jade and marble so imagine how they transported those images in there.


There is an area of old structures, ruins and an old, wooden Ubosot (the holiest prayer room) with several Buddha images.

This is where monks usually go before doing their usual routines. It is also called an “ordination room” as where ordination for novices takes place.
At the back of the temple ground is the famous Wat Salaeng structure where the Buddha's footprint is housed. It is close and accessible only by monks. I guess one can actually take a peek if we intend to do merit making.



While walking around, I happened to stumble upon a huge gong where people were queuing up. There were some younger people and mostly elderly and they were filled with smiles and anticipation. When it is one's turn, you need to stand in front of the gong and then rub it in circular motion. There are two things that can happen: it can make a loud reverberating sound or it makes nothing or a faint, weak 'hmm' sound.

It is a belief that when it resonates, one leads a good life. If there's none or a very weak one, it's the opposite. That's the reason why after each person's turn, the people around either smile or start
to chatter.
The temple is just a structure just like a church. It is a house of meditation and recollection. However, Christ or Buddha is in our hearts. One is never lost when we believe. With mindfulness, a person always prosper. (Buddhist quote)


  1. I drowned in your words. Thank you so much for the feature, feeling accomplished because I am again in print, right here in your blog. Your generous words will be forever cherished. It is my honour to be introduced as such.

    1. Pleasure is mine Jonathan :)

      I want to apologize (though I know you know that it's not my fault) for the unfortunate incident that my posting of your guest blog entry coincides with the malware attack.

      THANK YOU so much for granting my request.

    2. No worries. I read your postings at FB. Maybe the Christian in this blog theme does not relate well with the Buddhist in my post, ha,ha,ha.

  2. Wondeful description of Jonathan Balut and I am one of his admirer too.
    anyway, nice knowing about this church in Thailand Jonathan.

    1. It is both easy and difficult to write about Jonathan. Easy because he's one interesting person to write about, but difficult also for the same reason ha ha.

      I love his subject as well. The temple is as interesting as the blogger :)

    2. Thank you Ms. Joy.

      Ms. Balut does not need to write something elaborate. I am a mere traveler who happened to dropped by your 'home' and stayed for the stories and learnings.

  3. Thanks for this post Balut, I felt like I tagged along :) Nice to read more about Jonathan :) Mishu lovely Balut! :*

    1. You're welcome Zai!

      Oo nga parang nakita at nakarating na tayo dun sa temple di ba?

      Miss you more beautiful Zai!

  4. Jonathan is one-hell-of-an-exceptional-writer - that most of the times, I just read and leave no comments on his blog. I always look forward to his writing since he has this superb talent in doing some linguistic acrobats that leave the reader/s metaphorically riddled - just in case the reader isn't adept in unfolding the metaphor in his writings. He's a guy who - if there is a word as such "a well travelled person in the English world" - basically because he knows how to creatively express the tone of his subject/topic and his exceptional skill in using the right words to make his writing spring to life or to drown in his readers into his post. He's such a pro in my eyes. No wonder how he had done this contributor's entry. Just a slice of heaven in the reader's eyes. More post from you. T. Jo.


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