Manila North Cemetery

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For other uses, see Cementerio del Norte.
Manila North Cemetery
Manila North Cemetery 2.jpg
Entrance of the Manila North Cemetery
Location Sta. Cruz, Manila
Country Philippines Philippines
Coordinates 14°37′59″N 120°59′20″E / 14.633°N 120.989°E / 14.633; 120.989Coordinates: 14°37′59″N 120°59′20″E / 14.633°N 120.989°E / 14.633; 120.989
Type Public
Owned by Manila City Government
Size 54 ha (130 acres)
Find a Grave Findagrave

The Manila North Cemetery, or Cementerio del Norte, formerly known also as Paang Bundok, is one of the oldest, and at 54 hectares, the biggest of the cemeteries in Metro Manila alongside Andres Bonifacio Avenue. Bordering it are two other important cemeteries, the La Loma Cemetery and the Manila Chinese Cemetery. The cemetery is owned by the City of Manila.

Numerous families live inside some of the mausoleums.[1]


The Manila North Cemetery was part of La Loma Cemetery before but was separated because of Catholic exclusivity.[2] The cemetery was laid out in 1904.[3] Through the years it serves as the final resting place for key figures in Philippine history which includes our former presidents like President Sergio Osmeña, Ramon Magsaysay and Manuel Roxas, historian Epifanio de los Santos and actor Fernando Poe Jr.[4]

Being one of the oldest is evident on the different designs of mausoleums that reflect the prevailing architectural styles in the Philippines. The styles range from simple, plain-painted with a patch of greenery, to very complex designs that contain reliefs that are difficult to carve while also having different colors.

Existing Condition[edit]

Many people already live inside the cemetery and some of them serve as caretakers of the mausoleums where they also stay to survive. When the families or owners of the mausoleum come especially during and after All Soul's Day, the families transfer to other places. In addition, other people serve as guide bringing the visitors to the renowned tombs of famous people while also telling them a little history.[3]

Due to the ever increasing space for the dead, there are plenty of stacked tombs. Also, people are taking advantage of the quantity of visitors, setting up shops that sell buko shakes and other services like renting out their toilets.[5]

The Manila City Government is now trying to find solutions on the issue of squatting.

Heritage Structures[edit]

Bautista-Nakpil Pylon[edit]

The Bautista-Nakpil Pylon at the North Cemetery was designed by Juan Nakpil as a tribute to both Bautista and Nakpil families including his uncle and benefactor, Dr. Ariston Bautista. The funerary pylon is a tall, square podium which has four human figures on the top corners that form a gesture of prayer capping off the tall columns. The frontal side is embellished by geometricized flowers, spiraling foliage, and nautilus shells in low-relief concrete panels which has an highly-decorized stoup on the lower portion.[6] An octagonal lantern-like form sits on top of the podium with miniature columns buttressing on all sides and crowned by a rigid dome.

Image Gallery[edit]

Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution[edit]

The Mausoluem of the Veterans of the Revolution, also known as Panteon de los Veteranos de la Revolucion was designed by Arcadio de Guzman Arellano, brother of Juan Arellano and was built in commemoration of the bravery of the Filipinos in the independence revolution.[7] The memorial was commissioned through Executive Order No. 87, issued by Governor-General James F. Smith on August 28, 1908. The neoclassical stucture is a massive cubic structure on an elevated square podium. A shallow dome rests on a drum fenestrated by small openings to allow the circulation of air and primarily to let the natural light to come in. Swags, frets with key patterns, and human figures that represent grief to those who died fill up the facade.

Image Gallery[edit]

Notable Burials[edit]

Most of the people have their tombs on the main avenue of the cemetery while other notable people are located near the main entrance.[3]

Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución
Magsaysay Memorial
Juan Nakpil Memorial
  • Julio Nakpil (1867–1960), composer, father of Juan Nakpil.
  • Mariano Noriel (1864–1915), Filipino general who fought during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War. Formerly buried at the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución.
  • Roman Ongpin (1847–1912), Businessman, philanthropist, nationalist, and civic citizen
  • Sergio Osmeña (1878–1961), former Philippine president. His wife Esperanza Limjap-Osmeña is also buried with him.
  • Jose Fortich Ozamiz, former senator and first provincial governor of Misamis Occidental.
  • Quintin B. Paredes (1884–1973), former House speaker and senator
  • Pedro Paterno, 2nd Prime Minister of the Philippines First Republic (Malolos Govt.)
  • Fernando Poe, Sr. (1916–1951), film producer, director, actor
  • Fernando Poe, Jr. (Ronald Allan K. Poe) (1939–2004), movie actor, presidential candidate and national artist
Poe Family Mausoleum

Group plots[edit]

  • American Association plot
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines Cemetery
  • Boy Scout Cenotaph (in memory of the 24 Boy Scouts who died in a plane crash en route to the 11th World Scout Jamboree)
  • Firemen's plot
  • Jewish cemetery
  • Masonic burial grounds
  • Military and police plot
  • Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución
  • Thomasites' plot
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars plot (now neglected, since relatives all migrated to the USA)

Popular culture[edit]

  • The Museum Foundation of the Philippines and Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way both used to hold walking tours the Chinese Cemetery, North Cemetery and La Loma Cemetery.
  • Manila North Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery have a trove of funerary architecture. Mausoleums are designed to look like Chinese pagodas, Hindu Sikhara temples, Egyptian pyramids guarded by Sphinxes, Greek- and Roman-inspired temples, Romanesque-type churches, even Art Deco mausoleums.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Chance (2010). "Living with the dead: Manila's North Cemetery". Pictures of the Year International. Donald W Reynolds Journalism Institute. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Republic of the Philippines: Presidential Museum and Library."Our Heritage and the Departed: A Cemeteries Tour".
  3. ^ a b c Vintage Philippines. December 2, 2010. "Manila North Cemetery: A Time Capsule of Philippine History".
  4. ^ Philippine Daily Inquirer. November 2, 2012. "Did You Know: Manila North Cemetery".
  5. ^ Sauler, Erik. November 2, 2012. Philippine Daily Inquirer. "From buko shakes to portalets, entrepreneurs thrive at Manila North Cemetery".
  6. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. pp. 331–332, 339. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  7. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. p. 289. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  8. ^ [1] CWGC Casualty record.
  9. ^ Walter Ang. October 28, 2013. "8 Trivia About Manila Cemeteries".

External links[edit]