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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

San Joaquin Cemetery (1892)

The San Joaquin Cemetery is situated beside the highway of San Joaquin town approximately 50 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City. Built in 1892 and was made of coral rocks, it features 20 stone steps near the entrance that is adorned by stone balustrades on both sides that leads to an eye grabbing mortuary chapel designed in Baroque architecture standing solidly on the center.

I arrived here after a brief stop-over at Miag-ao Church the day prior the first day of the Dinagyang Festival weekend and the sun was at its highest, its ray of lights shining directly over my head and with sweat drenching all over my face and my shirt reduced to a mop-like cloth, I persevered and frolicked at the sight that greeted me upon entering the cemetery.

I've never been to a cemetery as old as this before. Though the residents of this place have changed through the years with the oldest being entombed in the late 70's. There is still a presence of its century old existence as I gazed upon the mortuary chapel which stood like this one thick, strong structure unmindful of the beatings of time.

I slowly rose through the steps and encountered dozens of funeral-goers about to bid goodbye to a love one. I watched them for a few minutes amidst the sounds of cries and agony from those who remained on Earth. As the cemetery caretakers started to pour cement into the departed man's final resting place and throngs of family members slowly go down on the stone stair I directed my eye on the unwavering statues around me. 

It was an eerie feeling as a few minutes later I was left all alone in the cemetery. The people have slowly faded into the sleepy town of San Joaquin, a few moments later a couple arrived to take a few pictures while I rested my tired body under a shade near the gate of the cemetery.

Then a few moments again afterward, the couple was gone and I was left again in the company of the departed. Just like in life in general, people coming and going and only the mere fact that we are mortals remains the same. Soon, everyone (including me) will be gone and unto our own specific resting place.

I stayed for about an hour inside the cemetery sitting under the shade and the clear blue skies and white clouds formed by genius brush strokes of nature hovers above me. I was wondering about death for a moment while bodies of the departed rots below me and their souls up in the sky looking down upon me and this rustic and appealing final resting place known as the San Joaquin Cemetery.

I grabbed my backpack after an hour of amazement and went walking further down the town of San Joaquin where again i was greeted by another stunning Spanish colonial church and a town plaza that is both peaceful and charming.

As the sun shone bright and the cool wind coming from the beach, I was tempted to sat under a tree and make an attempt at a short sleep, but my couchsurfing host Joanne was just an hour away from getting off work and meeting me back in downtown Iloilo. The walk I made from the cemetery and unto the town plaza passing by near the shoreline, I've nothing on my head but gratitude at such opportunity to travel and visit places like this.



Berniemack Arellano said...

And also the best site for pre-nup pictorial. LOL! A lot of people have this notion with the San Joaquin Camposanto and Cemetery as a perfect place for fashion runways and pictorials.

I just hope that this would be declared as a national treasure by NHI. Only San Joaquin Church has that marker as of the moment.

Bonzenti [Con Tour Blog] said...

Marky. meron palang ganito ka luma na camposanto pre. Madami talaga sa Iloilo na heritage site ano?

lakwatsera de primera said...

Parang nakakatakot naman mag-isa dyan at mag picture picture. Iba ka talaga Sabertooth :)

Markyramone said...

@Bernie, nagandahan ren ako sa labas ng San Joaquin Church

@Bonzeti, totoo sarap i explore pa ang Iloilo for more heritage sites

@Claire, yeah tanghali naman pero pag gabi iba na yon haha

journeyingjames said...

heavenly! pang pre-nup talag. this cemetery captivated me while i was in san joaquin.

@claire, sabertooth nga

pusang kalye said...

awts---50 kms pa pala to from ilo-ilo city!!!kala ko sa city proper sya mismo./ layo din yun ha. tas---aside from this---anu pa makikita sa San Juaquin?

Markyramone said...

@James, ma consider nga yan someday for my pre-nup haha

@Anton, along the way marami kng madadanan na magandang town and old churchs sa Guimbal (may beach dun na okay) and of course Miag-ao Church na one of UNESCO Heritage Sites in the Philippines (11-13 km from San Joaquin - mas malapit sa city)

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

sarap mag-photoshoot diyan. kasi ang gaganda ng details ng church and nung camposanto! oo nga, agree iba ang trip mo! ayos!!! pero parang eto na yata pinakamagandang cemetery na nakita ko.

Markyramone said...

agree ren mas gusto ko mga old cemeteries compared to the park-like cemeteries nowadays.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

maganda talaga dyan... very dramatic ang grand staircase... at may naabutan ka pang ililibing nung araw na yun ah... =D

lifeisacelebration said...

one of the best-looking cemeteries.......who would have thought they'd make good subjects years after they were constructed? nice one, marky.

Markyramone said...

Agree @Mervz and Tita Li, old cemeteries are always the better looking compared to modern ones. Can also say the same thing about Churches.

Katie said...

Hi I saw you at the solesister's talk. hehe Nahiya ako papicture eeeee. :p I was looking for the church ruins in Camiguin. Ganda nya :)

Markyramone said...

Hey Katie sana you said hi, though i'm shy ren haha.

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