Living the good life in the afterlife

The Chinese cemetery in Manila is, at the same time, fascinating and absurd. It’s its own city with paved roads, small alleys, and mosoleums larger than the homes that the living of Manila inhabit. There are tombs and alters like the one above. I would consider that to be one of the more modest tributes to a former Manila resident of Chinese descent. And then there’s what my fellow urban explorers and I dubbed “Main Street” — a street lined with small mansions with air conditioning, glass windows, and well groomed yards.

We found one mosoleum bigger than a large church, apparently the resting place for an entire family. Some of the graves had clearly been visited recently.

Some looked forgotten — like their families moved away long ago — left to decay in the tropical humidity.


  1. Bill Scott, Sr. says:

    Wow, thats pretty interesteing to say the least. I hate death; it is so painful to dea with when you lose a love one.

  2. Christina says:

    I actually want to go back to the cemetery and poke around a little more. There’s so much to see and hundreds of corners to explore.

  3. Ivan ManDy says:


    It’s not just about worldly-trappings there is a historic socio-anthropological reason for the Chinese Cemetery’s existance. ;o) And grandest tombs are actually hidden in obscure (and sometimes, quite eerie) corners of this 54-hectare place.

    Btw, I have yet to see an air-conditioned tomb at the Cemetery. I dont think there’s any at all.

  4. Christina says:

    Ivan: I stand corrected. Your tour was wonderful and I learned a lot. It was definitely great to understand what I was looking at and find some of those hidden treasures…

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