Entrance of the Manila North Cemetery
|Owned by||Manila City Government|
|Size||54 ha (130 acres)|
|Find a Grave||Manila North Cemetery|
The Manila North Cemetery (Spanish: Cementerio del Norte) is one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Manila, Philippines. The cemetery is owned by and located in the City of Manila, the national capital, and is one of the largest in the metropolis at 54 hectares. It is located alongside Andrés Bonifacio Avenue and borders two other important cemeteries: the La Loma Cemetery and the Manila Chinese Cemetery. Numerous impoverished families notably inhabit some of the mausoleums.
The Manila North Cemetery was formerly part of La Loma Cemetery, but was separated as an exclusively Catholic burial ground.The cemetery formerly known as Cementerio del Norte was laid out in 1904.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II the cemetery became the site of atrocities, with accounts that Imperial Japanese forces led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita brutally killing more than 2,000 unarmed noncombatants in the cemetery from October to November 1944.
The cemetery being one of the oldest cemeteries in the metropolis is evident on the different designs of mausoleums that reflect the prevailing architectural style in the Philippines during the period they were constructed. The styles range from simple, plain-painted with a patch of greenery, to very complex designs that contain reliefs that are difficult to carve while also having different colors.
Many people already live inside the cemetery with some of them serving as caretakers of the mausoleums where they also stay to survive. When the families or owners of the mausoleums come, especially during and after All Soul's Day, the families transfer to other places. In addition, the informal settlers often serve as informal tour guides, bringing visitors to tombs of famous people and discussing the oral history of the area.Others take advantage of the quantity of visitors during the Allhallowtide holiday, setting up stalls to sell drinks and snacks, and providing visitors other services like renting out their toilets.
Clearing operations made in 2019 destroyed the shanties and other obstructions inside the cemetery, displacing the families who lived in the makeshift homes and in the mausoleums.
The Bautista-Nakpil Pylon at the North Cemetery was designed by Juan Nakpil as a tribute to both Bautista and Nakpil families, including his uncle and benefactor, Dr. Ariston Bautista. The funerary pylon is a tall, square podium which has four human figures on the top corners that form a gesture of prayer capping off the tall columns. The frontal side is embellished by geometricized flowers, spiraling foliage, and nautilus shells in low-relief concrete panels which has a highly decorized stoup on the lower portion.An octagonal lantern-like form sits on top of the podium with miniature columns buttressing on all sides and crowned by a rigid dome.
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Most of the people have their tombs on the main avenue of the cemetery while other notable people are located near the main entrance.
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