baby tomb

Cemetery Musings

Ok, so it may not be everybody’s ideal walking rendezvous but truth be told, I find cemeteries to be one of those eerily fascinating places to be. Let me cite the reasons:

1. A well-tended cemetery is always a peaceful haunt. Really.

2. Cemeteries are a class unto themselves. I mean the high class and the lower end.
You know when they say that death is life’s great leveller? Well, scroll down and think again…

3. Cemeteries are oversized architectural story books. And this is the type that you’d appreciate when there’s daylight as opposed to bedtime.

Now, a great city worth its salt has to have a famous cemetery. Think Paris and Pere la Chaise, Washington D.C. and Arlington, Prague and the Jewish Cemetery. Of course here in Manila, one would immediately think of the American Memorial Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio or her equally famous sister, the Chinese Cemetery in the district of Sta. Cruz.

One lazy Sunday, I had time to kill before starting Mounds, Magnates and Mausoluems! and found myself within the confines of La Loma Catholic cemetery,the oldest among the 3 in the area (the Chinese and the North) and probally in the whole of Manila too.

What a treasure trove! Now, if you fancy historic architecture (well,the funerary variety that is) in their original setting, then head towards the La Loma Catholic Cemetery.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

cacho family mausoleum Cacho family mausoleum

The first big mausoleum that greets you, from the Cacho family (of publishers?) in the Art-Deco style. Can’t miss that oversized gaurdian angel.

Barredo 3 Barredo 2

Bless this favorite piece! Cute and classic Deco in all sides, from the Barredo family.

Mayorlago Santos Oriol2

Loco over Deco! The Mayorlago-Santos mausoleum, done no less by the premiere, Pre-War marble works company in the Philippines- Oriol builders- fancy!

kahn family kahn family Oriol1

The Kahn family mausoleum, gorgeous for its geometric and calligraphic simplicity. Also done by Oriol.

Gonzales-Mondragon Oriol3

Deco in all its purity at the Gonzales-Mondragon plot. Note the stylized Egypitian column so typical an Art-Deco motif in the 1920’s.

Araneta Zaragoza Araneta- Bustamante

We are family…. The Araneta Deco sisters.

Art-Deco Plot

To cap off our Deco parade, this black-and-white streamlined plot!

Lim Family 2 Lim Family

Now, let’s move on and do Neo-Gothic this time…I give you, the Lim family mausoleum.


Stylized gothic…courtesy of the Pamintuan Family.

Neo Gothic

Twin gothic (horror?) and shades of Paris’ Pere Lachaise…?


The end of the line….alas, the dead are not spared from the perils of the ‘leaving’, this sign gives a stern warning to those who dare steal the dead’s wordly goods – crosses or what have you- for they, their parents, family, wife or children will certainly be punished by the thunderous wrath of God (death!)

Now that’s scary.