Laguna: Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Located in Barangay Bambang in the municipality of Nagcarlan in Laguna, Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is a national historical landmark and museum of the town. It is also the only underground cemetery in the country.

The Baroque cemetery was established in 1845 under the directives of Fr. Vicente Velloc. The cemetery's circular outline gives it its unique appearance. What makes the cemetery more unique is the chapel with an underground chamber at the far end of its entrance.
Main entrance

The wooden panel outside the cemetery

The NHI marker
The niches and its tenants
Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery or Libingan sa Ilalim ng Lupa ng Nagcarlan was built as a public burial site that occupies a hectare of land at the foot of Mt. San Cristobal. Despite being a public burial site, it's crypt is exclusively for Spanish friars and prominent elite Catholic families of the town. The oldest tomb dates back to 1886 while the last interment was dated 1982.

Inside the chapel in the cemetery
The stairway going to the underground chamber

Inside the chamber
Another view of the chamber
The wooden door at the far end is an alternative way to get in the chamber
The underground cemetery became an important part of the Philippine Revolutionary history when it served as a meeting place of the revolutionary leaders of the Katipunan in 1896. Aside from that, the infamous Filipino "balimbing" or turncoat Pedro Paterno also met with Gen. Severino Taino at the cemetery to plan the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897. The cemetery's historical and military role did not end there though, it also served as a hideout for Filipino leaders during the Philippine-American War and also of the Filipino guerillas during World War 2.
My co-teachers posing at the entrance of the cemetery
Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery underwent renovations and restoration jobs after being declared a National Historical Landmark. It was reopened to the public during the unveiling of the historical marker in October 24, 1981. 
The chapel as seen from the parking area outside
Today, Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery looks more of a park than a cemetery. Despite this, there are still 240 apartment type niches on the walls on the sides of its chapel while inside it is an additional 36 niches. The cemetery is surrounded by octagonal stone walls made of red tiles with iron-wrought grills. It's main entrance which also serves as its facade measures 18 feet high. From the entrance, a red tiled pathway leads to the chapel on the other side of the entrance. 

Speaking of the chapel, it contains a statue of Santo Sepulco. This chapel serves as a place for requiem or funeral mass. On its right side near its entrance is a flight of steps that leads to the underground crypt. 
Of course I need to have my photo taken

I got to visit Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery as part of our road trip going to Cagbalete Island. It was easy to spot since it's just beside the main road. Visitors could park their cars on the parking spaces outside the cemetery. There is also a gas station  where one can park his car. 

Getting there:

From Manila, ride a bus to heading to Lucena City. Tell the conductor to drop you off at San Pablo City in Laguna. From there ride a tricycle to the jeep terminal going to Nagcarlan. Ride a jeep heading to the said town and tell the driver to drop you off at the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.

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Comments

  1. This is a very interesting place! We were there just last week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really glad to hear that you guys find this place amazing. =)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Hi po, entrance is free. If you choose to give oit donations pwede rin po.

      Delete
  3. Would you know if they are open to tourists on Mondays?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! The grounds might be open on Mondays, I just don't know about the chamber though.

      Delete
  4. hello wanna know if they open on weekends?

    ReplyDelete

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