Monday, February 28, 2011

The Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan

Brgy. Bambang, Nagcarlan, Laguna
by lakwatserong tatay

This is one of the most unique day trip travel plan in our Laguna Tour. This trip was plan actually later part of 2010. This place is not also plan to be visited but due to some curiosity and thanks to google.......we added some places from the Province of Nagcarlan, to be part of our sidetrip activities. We actually visited four places at Nagcarlan. This was the first one, next was walk tour along its highway, The Nagcarlan Presidencia, St. Batholomew Church and Bunga Falls.
Underground Cemetery
The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was built in 1851 by the Franciscan Missionaries. As far as i can remember, this is the only underground cemetery that has been built in the Philippines. During the Spanish Colonial period, this cemetery was used by the Katipuneros as a secret meeting place.
The Chapel of Underground Cemetery up ahead
The oldest niche in the cemetery had the date "1886". The interment was in 1982, before the cemetery was declared a National Historical Landmark. Most of those buried in the cemetery were townfolk who belonged to elite Catholic families.
History Marker
The cemetery facing the road that leads to the Poblacion, has an arched entrance of about 18 feet high and two iron-gate grills. Opposite the gate across the width of the grassy and gravely path both side of which is lined with cypress trees. Of about six feet is the cemetery chapel topped with a tower liked structure with a niche for statue and iron cross. The chapel is like a grand niche built into the cemetery so that its facade is aligned with the cemetary walls where the above ground niches numbering 240, 120 on each side are located and its body extends towards the outer lines of the periphery of walls.

The Depository Crypts around the Walls of the Cemetery
The chapel is used as the last station for the funeral rites before entombing the dead. Of Baroque style, it has windows on each side covered with wrought iron grills. The ceiling is wooden revealing singular seraphic and design characteristic of the religious order to which the builder, Father Vicente Velloc, belonged. The altar is intricately carved wood, is of the same style. The flooring is old red tiles with red and blue porcelain tiles that served as a foot high paneling around the inside lower portion of the walls. The chapel is without pews or furniture except a coffin stand. Right under the floor of the chapel is a crypt to which a passage located at, and towards the right side of its door.
The Chapel of the Underground Cemetery
The NHI Logbook of Underground Cemetery
The Chapel
The Chapel's Altar with the image of the Santo Entiero
Church signage
To this crypt, two flights of stairs, the first one of nine steps leads to a landing above which was a Spanish inscriptions now illegible, which a prominent member of the Nagcarlan Historical Commitee has previously recorded and translated. It reads:
View from the First Nine Steps
Go forth, Mortal Man, full of life Today, you visit happily this shelter
But after you have gone out,
Remember, you have a resting place here
Prepared for you.
The Illegible Spanish Inscriptions
View from the Last Six Steps
Going down the second flight of stairs of six steps leads to the crypt proper or the underground portion of the cemetery. This is lit by there small iron grilled windows that open towards the outside ground at the ground level. These are just below the ceiling of the crypt. Arrange into rows on the four walls are 36 niches where the dead of the town's privilege are buried.

FYI: Taking pictures under the crypt is allowed but please no camera flashes is allowed, this is the general rule of the cemetery.
An Altar under this Underground Cemetery

Pictures of the Depository Crypts of the Underground Cemetery
This is one of the pictures that we've taken under the underground cemetery that we both really agreed to be nice....hehehehe...It really looks like creepy and the feeling under the 36 tombs around you is such an experience...
One of our poses in Underground Cemetery
The Long Aisle view from the Underground Cemetery Church
On the main gate is a small board telling the visiting hours, the last our of which was supposed to be 4pm. But upon asking it closes sometimes up to 530-6pm, due to number of visitors specially when weekends.
This place is could be visited by this time....
The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is one of a priority destination to those people who are into cultural-historical-religious things. This place is not for picnics, but i could personally say that you will really love our past (i mean our culture) of our country.
This Cemetery is been Xplored

Lakwatserong Tatay was here!!!!!
 How to get to this Place:

Via Bus: Take Manila-Lucena Bus Line (Like Jam Transit). Get off to San Pablo City and from San Pablo you can ride a jeepney in the City Proper going to Nagcarlan.
Fare Breakdown: (Buendia to San Pablo: P127) and (SPC to Nagcarlan: P24)

Watch out for the last three places that we visited in the Town of Nagcarlan.
Our Last Look to Nagcarlan's Underground Cemetery


LuvLeegurl said...

fascinating yet a little bit spooky.. this is a very interesting place to go to. :)

lakwatserong tatay said...

@luvleegurl, yap your right, it is really nice to see such historical places like that together with its creppy feeling when your underneath the cemetery, it is such a experience...hehehehe ^_^


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