Cemeteries from all over the world tells a lot of interesting stories from romantic relationships, tragedy, lavish lifestyles to ghost hunting and their spooky encounters with the living. Some famous attractions are the mausoleums examples are Vladimir Lenin , Ho Chi Minh , Eva Peron , Emperor’s tomb in Xian , China , Abraham Lincoln and ancient catacombs . Like the living , the dead also tell their stories.
Manila North Cemetery ( Cementerio del Norte) is Manila largest public cemetery occupying 54 hectares of land , is considered the biggest and one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Manila. Beside it are two other important cemeteries, namely the La Loma Cemetery and the Manila Chinese Cemetery. The cemetery is owned by the Manila city government and has initiated an expansion program to build more “apartment tombs” and a crematorium. Located inside the cemetery complex is a chapel, tennis court , veterinary office and is considered as home to a large group of informal communities .
pyramid shaped family tomb of Tuazon -Arroyo family clan complete with Spinx
Gov. General Francis Burton Harrison
Francis Burton Harrison (December 18, 1873 – November 21, 1957) was an American statesman who served in the United States House of Representatives and appointed as Governor- General of the Philippines by United States President Woodrow Wilson . Harrison was a prominent adviser to a commonwealth president four other Presidents of the country. Harrison Plaza was named after him.
Pancho Villa tombstone marker
Francisco Guilledo (August 1, 1901 – July 14, 1925), more popularly known as Pancho Villa, boxer. Villa, who stood only 5 feet and 1 inch (154 cm) tall and never weighed more than 114 pounds (51 kg), rose from obscurity to win the World Flyweight boxing champion in 1923, earning acclaim in some quarters as “the greatest Asian fighter in boxing history”.
an ornately decorated family tomb
President Ramon Magsaysay tomb
Fernando Poe Jr. tomb and family mausoleum
Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (August 20, 1939 – December 14, 2004), better known as Fernando Poe, Jr. and colloquially known as FPJ and Da King, was a an actor and cultural icon. He was honored on May 24, 2006 as Philippine National Artist through Philippine Proclamation No. 1065.
Notable personalities buried within the cemetery were Jose Corazon de Jesus ( poet) , President Roxas, President Sergio Osmeña y Suico among others.
Manila Chinese Cemetery
Manila Chinese Cemetery is the second oldest cemetery in Manila after Paco Cemetery and was designated as the resting place for the Chinese citizens who were denied burial in Catholic cemeteries during the Spanish colonial period. The cemetery was witness to many executions during World War II. Among them were Girl Scouts organizer Josefa Llanes Escoda , literary geniuses Rafael Roces and Manuel Arguilla , star athlete-turned-guerrilla spy Virgilio Logregat , and Chinese Consul General Yang Guangsheng. Apolinario Mabini was also buried in the cemetery before his remains were transferred to Batangas .
Chong Hock Tong Temple (宗福堂)
Built in the 1850s, this is the oldest Chinese temple in Manila. Though not as elaborate, the architecture is still reminiscent of those in Fujian province as well as those in Singapore and Malaysia with their colorful friezes and uniquely upturned eaves.
temple gate with fu-dog
Second World War memorial
2nd Lt. Carlos Lopez of AFP grave and monument
Dr. Clarence Kuangson Young memorial shrine
He was the consul general from China in the Philippine island with Frangipani trees Plumeria rubra- alba growing around the memorial rotunda . A school was named after the consul general Dr. Kwangson Young Memorial School at 1044 Albuquerque in Barangay 7 Tondo, Manila.
Familia Maria Uy de Tee mausoleum
The family mausoleum looked like a mansion with its own gate
Familia Eusebio Tankeh mausoleum circa 1948
Paulino P. Gocheco mausoleum
This family mausoleum is a typical art deco architecture style
A champaka tree ( Michelia champaca ) growing beside the family mausoleum.
This tree is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia . It is best known for its strongly fragrant yellow or white flowers. It is however primarily cultivated for its timber, and is also used in urban landscaping . Its aril -covered seeds are highly attractive to birds .
Common names include champaca, champaka , champak or champac, champa, cempaka, sampenga, sampangi, sampige and shamba.
The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. They are floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, and for garlands and hair ointments. Old superstitious beliefs that unseen spirits may inhabit big champaka trees – spirits are usually attracted to fragrant smell emitted by the flowers .
Horticulturists and plant lovers may put cemeteries as ” one of their must been places to visit”. There are approximately several dozens species of plant varieties from trees, shrubs, ornamental plants that are planted all through out the cemetery.
a traditional Chinese style grave ( turtle shaped)
The turtle shell is the symbol of heaven and the flat square underside the symbol of earth. Based on this understanding, the turtle carries the world on its back. Being the symbol of fertility, vitality and great patience the Chinese believed these animals foretold future events and therefore, fortune tellers use turtles shell to read the future in the pattern on the turtle shell. In older grave sites of Okinawa , Taiwan , China, Malaysia and Korea you can still encounter this type of grave tomb site .
Visit the Filipino- Chinese families richly ornate buildings and mausoleum.
Manila Chinese Cemetery
Location :Felix Huertas Street corner Aurora Boulevard
Transportation : jeepney ride, tricycle , ( LRT- Blumentritt station) , pedicab
Opening Hours: 7.30 am to 7.00 pm daily.
Note: Tour guides are available ( offered by the cemetery) rates differ from Php 300 to Php 500 individual or group.
But if you knew someone with dead relatives or friends just hop along with them.
Video taping is not allowed . ( permission must be sought)
* The author occasionally does a free walking tour around the area upon request by close friends or relatives.