Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Tourist Spots in Laguna
Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is considered as National Historical Landmark located in Nagcarlan, in the province of Laguna. It is a burial site which is 15 meters below a small chapel; a chapel which was designed for funeral masses in 1845 by Franciscan Priests lead by Fr. Vicente Velloc. If in other parts of the Philippines, their burial sites are hanging (Ifugao), in the cave (Palawan) and concrete crypt (in modern era.) This burial site is unique because of its architectural design and purpose.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
The chapel and the underground graveyard gave a huge impact in history of the province and the country. It was used as the secret meeting place of the Filipino revolutionary armies, Katipuneros and other members of the KKK. It was also served as the shelter of the Filipino patriots during the Filipino-American War and Filipino guerellas during World War II.

The door of the chapel is tall, wide and thick made up of wood. The chapel doesn’t have anything that we usually see in the church. On the right side of the chapel, you can find the stairs going down to the tomb chamber; the oldest tomb was dated 1886. The walls are thick and covered with brown bricks.  According to some details, the people buried to this historical landmark are those came from privileged Catholic families.

Oldest Cemetery in the Philippines
Outside, the area is surrounded by an artistic fence made of concrete and iron works. Most parts of the fence are covered with bricks which make the structure looks older. In addition to that, crypts can also be seen in almost half of the fence, which got my attention. At the center, is an open area covered with a well-maintained green grass and santan on the side. The concrete pathway made of bricks is the only one that separates the two parts of the ground and connects the main gate to the entrance of the chapel.

Today, the chapel and the graveyard are both no longer operational, but it is still open to the public. No entrance fees to be collected and TAKE NOTE: Please, switch off your camera flash at the graveyard area. Personally, I noticed that the area is well preserved by the locals; but one thing that captured my attention. I think NCCA should do something else to preserve the chapel and the graveyard, particularly the walls, door and floor. At the graveyard, it is really dark, I can suggest, management can place lights which cannot destroy the historical value of the relics, so that the tourists can still see how amazing the graveyard is.