7 Philippine Cemeteries: A Brief History

Take a field trip to these landmarks and learn about the Philippines’ past.

By Mathew S. Chan
October 31, 2014


In commemoration of Undas, TravelBook lists down some of the Philippines’ unique burial sites. Each one has a colorful history that will have you raring to visit it. If you find time after you’ve paid your respects to your loved ones, try to visit these landmarks and discover our history.

Paco Park
The famous Paco Park is located in Manila. This site was used to bury cholera victims in the 1820s.
It is also where our National Hero, Jose Rizal, was originally buried in an unmarked grave after his execution. His body was later exhumed and brought to his family home.

Hanging Coffins of Sagada
The Hanging Coffins are located in Sagada, Mt. Province. These are made of logs carved into coffins for the burial of Igorot elders and their families, and hanged on the walls of caves. One belief is that they do this so that the dead can become closer to heaven. Another is so that they can easily watch over their loved ones who remain in the land of the living.

La Loma Cemetery
This cemetery is located in Manila and Caloocan. This cemetery was built during the Spanish occupation and was strictly used only for the graves of Catholics. Heroines Marcela Agoncillo and Josefa Llanes Escoda are buried here.  

Sunken Cemetery
The Sunken Cemetery is located in Camiguin. It is a cemetery that sunk after the eruption of Mt. Vulcan in 1871. The site is commemorated with a cross sitting on the waves. This place is significant in the history of Camiguin because the entire capital sank as well after the eruption.

Manila Chinese Cemetery
This cemetery is also located in Manila. During the Spanish occupation, only Catholics were allowed proper burial, so the Manila Chinese Cemetery was made for the Chinese citizens who were denied burial. Visit it to see art-deco style architecture and also check out the grave of hero Apolinario Mabini.

Nagcarlan Undergound Cemetery
The Nagcarlan Undergound Cemetery is located in Laguna. It was built as a public burial site, and the underground crypt was used exclusively for friars and prominent Catholic families. It is said to be the only underground cemetery in the Philippines. It is also a national historical landmark.

Libingan ng mga Bayani
The Libingan ng mga Bayani is located in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. It is the resting place for esteemed figures from the Philippine Military, as wells as martyrs and heroes. Also buried here are the brave souls who died during World War II. The site also contains the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can also visit the graves of past Philippine presidents like Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal here.

 *Photo by Rick McCharles via Flickr Creative Commons

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