Dark Tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which have real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme (as mentioned by thepinaysolobackpacker.com). Honestly, I didn't know that there's such a term not until she posted an article about it on her blog. In my previous travels, I have been visiting remarkable cemeteries in different parts of our country. I have acquired a fascination not only on heritage houses but also with old and interesting cemeteries that are rich in history and has a lot of "out of the ordinary" story to tell.
Must-see Cemeteries in the Philippines
I visit cemeteries because of its rich historical value, notable architecture and vibrant past. These cemeteries had been part of our rich culture and heritage, thus, paying a visit brings me back to the past. With this, I want to take you to some of the cemeteries that I've visited in my previous travels.
1. Nagcarlan Underground CemeteryLocation: Nagcarlan, Laguna
Date of visit: July 4, 2010
Built by the Franciscan Missionaries in 1851, this cemetery is said to used as an underground crypt were Filipino revolutionaries plotted against the Spanish rule. It is also a known fact that cemeteries like this is where only the elite Catholic families were buried during that time.
Because of it's rich history, this burial ground has been inscribed by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark.
This visit is part of our 2-day Western Laguna Road Trip. Click here to read more.
2. San Joaquin Roman Catholic CemeteryLocation: San Joaquin, Iloilo
Date of visit: November 22, 2010
The most compelling feature of this century-old Roman Catholic cemetery is the Campo Santo sitting on a hill overlooking the sea. This chapel is popular for its intricate baroque architecture with oriental influences. It is even made more impressive by the grand stone staircase approaching the beautiful chapel.
The chapel is made of white coral and fossil stones alternating with coral stone-red bricks. It is said to be used by the locals during the early days, to celebrate the holy mass before a burial.
This visit is part of our Iloilo-Guimaras adventure last year. Click here to read more.
3. Paco CemeteryLocation: Paco, Manila
Date of visit: February 6, 2011
Probably one of the oldest cemeteries in our country, Paco Park is Manila’s municipal cemetery during the Spanish colonial period. Most of the wealthy families during that time interred the remains of their loved ones here. Tough it was originally planned as a municipal cemetery for the well-off and established upper-class Spanish families who resided in the old Manila, it was also used to bury victims of a cholera epidemic that swept across the city during that time.
Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was secretly interred here by the Spaniards after his execution in Bagumbayan in December 30, 1896. It is also the final resting place of the three Filipino martyr priests, Mario Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (GOMBURZA), who were executed by the Spaniards in 1872 for their participation in an uprising against Spain.
This visit is part of our Paco Park and Cemetery weekend early this year. Click here to read more.
4. Camiguin's Sunken CemeteryLocation: Catarman, Camiguin
Date of visit: August 7, 2011
One of the most photographed sites in Camiguin. The sunken cemetery is a result of the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan. Some areas in the town of Bonbon diminished during that time that led to the sinking of the town's cemetery to below sea level. In 1982, a huge white cross was erected to mark the cemetery that was swept by the said eruption.
This visit is part of my visit to Camiguin last August. Click here to read more.
5. Sagada's Hanging CoffinsLocation: Sagada, Mountain Province
Date of visit: April 5-9, 2012
Sagada is famous for its hanging coffins, it could be one of its most iconic tourist attractions. If you want a closer look of the hanging coffins, you need to take a short trek deep down the valley. It wasn't an easy trek, you need to be extra cautious with every step to reach the site. This practice of burying is believed to make the deceased loved ones closer to heaven. There are several coffins here and it's a mix of the old and some new ones. If you go here via a guided tour, listen carefully to your guide as he will give you information on the history and the tradition behind the practice of the hanging coffins.
This visit is part of my visit to Sagada, Mountain Province. Click here to read more.
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for October 2011 with the theme "Dark Tourism: Philippines in Focus" hosted by Gael Hilotin of The Pinay Solo Backpacker.
How about you? Are cemeteries also part of your usual travel itinerary?
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