History and Culture

Bacolod's Familia Luzuriaga Cemetery: Among the Weirdest in the World

, Negros Occidental

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Oct 30, 2015

For the people in Bacolod, the Familia Luzuriaga Cemetery is no longer a bizarre location. But, for visitors in the city, one would wonder why it is located at the center of two streets in Bacolod. 

Many websites claimed that the cemetery was said to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “only cemetery in the world at the intersection of 2 highways.”  It was said to be included in Ripley’s Believe It or Not among the “list of all weird things."

Luzuriaga Cemetery; photo courtesy of Olan Emboscado | The Travel Teller

The location of the private cemetery still continues to puzzle many. The junction is locally known as “Bangga Patyo(roughly “cemetery corner”). The private cemetery is part of an island of Lopez-Jaena Street that crosses with Burgos Street. It is also located just beside the public cemetery of Bacolod City.

The private cemetery is exclusively owned by the Ruiz de Luzuriaga clan. A prominent family in Negros Island where the very first Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Don Eusebio, settled and started a family in Bacolod City after exiling himself from Spain in 1840.

Luzuriaga Cemetery; photo courtesy of Olan Emboscado | The Travel Teller

Don Eusebio or Col. Eusebio R. de Luzuriaga is said to be the first Luzuriaga in the Philippines. He is one of the Spanish colonels who served during the Carlist regime. Don Eusebio together with the defenders of the Carlist regime chose to exile themselves from Spain after its defeat in the civil war. He settled in Bacolod City, became a farmer and a rich sugar businessman, and established his roots in the country.

Col. Eusebio R. de Luzuriaga

Don Eusebio’s son, Jose, became a significant figure in the Negros Revolution or also known as the Al Cinco de Noviembre.

READ: Cinco de Noviembre

The Ruiz de Luzuriaga family was very generous to the city. The hacienda house of Don Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga was donated to the city government where the old Bacolod City Hall is located. Other well-known members of the clan include movie director Peque Gallaga.

Probably the history of the private cemetery is only known to its family members. According to telltales, that the private cemetery is part of Bacolod’s public cemetery before. When roads needed to be built, it requires cutting a big chunk of the public cemetery. The families affected needed to relocate the graves of their departed. Some says inorder to give honor to the long time generosity of the Luzuriaga family, as not to disturb the family’s burial ground, the roads were made to curve instead of going straight. Some also say that the Luzuriaga family donated a property to the city government which most believed where the old city hall is located.  

Luzuriaga Cemetery; photo courtesy of Olan Emboscado | The Travel Teller

The private cemetery is closed the whole year. You’ll only find someone, a caretaker or family members, visiting the graves to light candles and offer flowers during All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Frangipani trees also known as kalachuchi grow in the cemetery. It is believed by locals that the strong scent produced by its flowers protects the spirits of the dead.

The Luzuriaga cemetery is also surrounded by the mausoleums of prominent families. The mausoleum of the Jayme-Gamboa Family is located at the west of the private cemetery. To the east side is the Bacolod Public Cemeter is the mausoleum of the Lopez Family.

 

Mula kay Art Rosalejos.

ALSO READ: Possibly One of Asia's Most Beautiful Cemeteries: The Camposanto de San Joaquin


How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php 75-Php 100 per head), or a cab and ask to be dropped off to your destination.


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