History and Culture

Strangely Beautiful La Filipina Cemetery: Where the Dead are Arranged Alphabetically

Davao City

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Oct 28, 2015
Strangely Beautiful La Filipina Cemetery: Where the Dead are Arranged Alphabetically

Try to picture out a cemetery.  The typical public graveyard would have uneven shapes and sizes of tombs jutting out from the ground.  Finding your dead loved ones tombstone during All Souls Day would take hours and would entail jumping from one tomb to another.

Then there is the rehabilitated La Filipina Cemetery in Tagum City.

Here, the dead are arranged alphabetically in condo blocks or apartment style tombs.  This makes it very convenient to look for and locate your departed loved ones.

The 2.5-hectare cemetery has 2,071 tombs on 25 condo blocks.  Over 20,000 dead are interred here at La Filipina.

After 5 to 10 years, the skeletal remains are exhumed and transferred to the bone graves.

At present, there are 10, 214 bone graves neatly placed at the perimeter walls of the cemetery, making them appear as gates or fences.

Palm trees surround the cemetery and provide shade for the visitors.

If not for the bone graves at the sides, one would think that this is a public park because of the children playing, families going on picnics, and even lovers going on dates.

Visitors have a 9pm curfew that is strictly implemented because of some people who go on dates in the area. 

Aside from changing the typical look of cemeteries and the usual “scary” atmosphere, the La Filipina Cemetery is a good example of how to manage a limited space.

With La Filipina, forget the chaotic All Souls Day gridlock and concentrate on praying for the dearly departed.

If you happen to be in Tagum in October, try to catch the Kaimunan Festival or see its landmarks

You can even try out the pasta dishes at Sabroso

All photos by Olan Emboscado TheTravelTeller

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