LAGUNA TRAVEL GUIDE: Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
Another historical landmark in Laguna is the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. 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. In the Philippines, burial sites are situated in different spots, like hanging in Ifugao, placed inside the cave in Palawan and Cagayan, and concrete crypt (in the modern era). This burial site is unique because of its architectural design and purpose.
 
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This chapel served as the last station of the funeral rites before entombment. The priest gave his last blessing here. This Nagcarlan's chapel and the underground graveyard  gave a huge impact in history of the province. 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 the Filipino guerillas during second World War.

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.

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The door of the chapel is tall, wide and thick made up of wood. The chapel doesn’t have anything that we always see in the church. On the right side, there is a staircase going down to the tomb chamber; the oldest tomb was dated 1886. The walls are thick and covered with brown bricks.  According to claims online, the people buried to this historical landmark are those came from privileged Catholic families. Today, the chapel and the graveyard are no longer operational, but it is still open to the public as a tourist spots and destinations in Laguna. During our visit, no entrance fee collected.

HOW TO GET TO NAGCARLAN UNDERGROUND CEMETERY: From Manila or any point on EDSA, you can ride a bus bound for Lucena City but alighted in San Pablo City. Ride in a tricycle to the jeepney terminal going to Nagcarlan. Ride a jeepney and alight in Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.