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Saturday, October 25, 2014

tours by foot : Walk with Chan, La Loma Catholic Cemetery

In the boundaries of Manila and Caloocan near R. Papa sits one of Manila's oldest
big cemeteries- the Campo Santo De La Loma.

Its almost a wk before Haloween, and This morning as we enter the world beyond
and gain a true cemetery experience. care of Walk with Chan, Get ready to be
wowed by the resting places of Manila's dead, from a few hundred yrs ago til
present.and uncover a unique side of Filipino and Chinese Culture.
Note:a similar Cemetery tour can be found here by clicking this

One of the oldest cemeteries in Old Manila, and less than 55 hectares, The
Campo Santo de La Loma  was opened in 1884 and was known as  originally
known as Cementerio de Binondo. (as it was formerly part of the jurisdiction
of Santa Cruz, Manila during the Spanish colonial period). Today, one enters
the former Binondo cemetery from Jose Abad Santos, near R. Papa Station.
it is owned by Diocese of Caloocan and Archdiocese of Manila

A barrier has been placed to devide it from its neighbor the chinese cemetery.
its famous attraction aside from the  gun near the entrance

this cemetery escaped the ravage of World War II and was lucky to have preserve most
of its historical 130 yr old heritage architecture.

One of the oldest cemeteries in Old Manila
it was surrounded by a three meter high stone masonry fence and had distinctive wrought iron grill gate with statues of angels guarding it. the original iron grill main gate (with two smaller side gates)chapel can be seen from the background with the distinctive dome design.

the two iron column pairs are now the iron columns that stands in today’s entrance to 
La Loma cemetery. 

LA LOMA 'CHURCH' or Chapel of St. Pancratius

Rence took us on a walk through Philippine History and talks about the Chinese's
contribution in society during the Jap. occupation in 1942

this 3 hr walking tour is a combination of Philippine history and Old Manila cemetery
and church architecture that was 80% preserved, the tour includes stops at
he old Chapel  of Pancratius, and a stroll in front of known Mausoleums of famous
dead citizens. Lawrence don’t just show you the Mausoleums and tombs on every
sites: he tell you the stories. Come along on this family-friendly tour of one of this
nation’s most sacred grounds. THE LA LOMA CATHOLIC CEMETERY.

Below are a set of pictures I took of the Chapel without the NHCP marker

There is this century old beautiful "now unused" chapel dedicated to St.Pancratius 
it survived World War II, a few big earthquakes and super typhoons and stood the 
test of time. it operates till 1962. theres a new Pancratius Chapel located near the 
entrance. its refered to as the "Lumang Simbahan" usually padlocked, but today
we were lucky to have a chance to take a peep inside here are the photos a evidence.
BELOW are pics of the interior shot, they are rare pictures I can say,  that future interior pictures of this chapel that you search via google  are taken from this tour. either from me, or my friends.
interior shot before 1916 photo from Manila Nostalja

"cross" 1887

side windows left

interior ceiling with  2 pairs of hanging chandeliers

right side shot of the windows

Harrison Plaza and other areas in Manila used to be cemeteries.
Monument of a cemetery located at the south west of Fort San Antonio Abad. The area is where the 
present-day Harrison Plaza now stands.
As a result of modernization, some sacred burial grounds had to be wiped out to be replaced by 
commercial buildings. Such is the case with an old cemetery located southwest of an area once known 
as Fort San Antonio Abad in Malate, Manila. The area is now occupied by the Harrison Plaza, also known 
as the country’s first modern mall.
But Harrison Plaza is not the only one that lies above former burial grounds. Another area in Malate, 
the Remedios Circle, was actually one of Manila’s earliest cemeteries. However, it closed down after 
WWII, and all the remains were transferred to the South Cemetery. This happened after the Catholic 
Church agreed to surrender the cemetery to the government in exchange of a road leading to a new 
church across the Manila Zoo.
Another former cemetery is the Espiritu Santo Parish Church in Sta. Cruz, Manila. It is known as the 
first church in the country dedicated to the Holy Spirit. It used to be a simple place of worship in the 
middle of Sta. Cruz Cemetery. The area around the cemetery was eventually converted into the Parish 
of Espiritu Santo by the La Liga del Espiritu Santo led by Florentino Torres, Supreme Court’s first 
associate justice. The small chapel within the cemetery was built into a bigger church in 1926.

detailed carvings of figures and ornaments, its walls are made of 1884 stone blocks
a simple big dome and a cross serves as its roof, the sides have big windows in
between there are stone markers with texts "EVANGELIO" (GOSPEL) and
"ESPITULA" (Letters).

Two white painted lion made of stone are guarding the entrance  then the side of the
old  facade had a couple of saints  guarding it. above this gate are  carvings  
with the year where the Cementerio de Binondo was built. 1884 

the latin inscription? (Beati Mortum,,,,,)? "Blessed are the dead who die in the grace of  the Lord"

remains of the once very beautiful gate of Binondo cemetery 
The wrought iron gates are no where to be found, the one outside is not the original one
a silent memorial to the selfish junkyard sellers and total ignorance of historical and 
church heritage architecture

big question mark????

Surprisingly I didnt find any historical marker from NHCP in any part of the chapel's
facade, no reminder for anyone on its role  in our Philippine history! but  for those
who were present and got the chance to be part of the walking tour, Lawrence
will tell you the stories behind it. and we now know that the Old Chapel and the
entire La Loma  are two icons of Manila that will forever  be inscribed in us.


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