Manila North Cemetery

Last updated
Manila North Cemetery
Manila North Cemetery 2.jpg
Entrance of the Manila North Cemetery
Country Philippines
Coordinates 14°37′59″N120°59′20″E / 14.633°N 120.989°E / 14.633; 120.989 Coordinates: 14°37′59″N120°59′20″E / 14.633°N 120.989°E / 14.633; 120.989
Owned by Manila City Government
Size54 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. [1]


History and Architecture

Aerial view of Cementerio del Norte (1928) Del Norte Cemetery (15164139030).jpg
Aerial view of Cementerio del Norte (1928)

The Manila North Cemetery was formerly part of La Loma Cemetery, but was separated as an exclusively Catholic burial ground. [2] The cemetery formerly known as Cementerio del Norte [3] was laid out in 1904. [4]

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. [3]

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.

Informal settlement

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. [4] 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. [5]

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. [6]

Heritage Structures

Bautista-Nakpil Pylon

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. [7] An octagonal lantern-like form sits on top of the podium with miniature columns buttressing on all sides and crowned by a rigid dome.

Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution

The Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution is a memorial dedicated to Filipino revolutionaries of the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War.

Notable burials

The remains of key figures in Philippine history such as former Presidents Sergio Osmeña, Ramón Magsaysay and Manuel Roxas; historian Epifanio de los Santos; and celebrities as actor Fernando Poe Jr. are buried in the cemetery. [8]

Most of the people have their tombs on the main avenue of the cemetery while other notable people are located near the main entrance. [4]

Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion Norte01.jpg
Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución
Magsaysay Memorial NorthCem-A.JPG
Magsaysay Memorial
Juan Nakpil Memorial NorthCem-B.JPG
Juan Nakpil Memorial
Poe Family Mausoleum NorthCem-G.JPG
Poe Family Mausoleum

Group plots

See also

Related Research Articles

Mausoleum Monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people

A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.

Capiz Province in Western Visayas, Philippines

Capiz is a province in the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is the city of Roxas. It located in the central section and is located at the northeastern portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan to the north, Antique to the west, and Iloilo to the south. Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea to the north.

Quezon City City in Metro Manila, Philippines

Quezon City is a highly urbanized city and the most populous city in the Philippines. It was founded by and named after Manuel L. Quezon, the 2nd President of the Philippines, to replace Manila as the national capital. The city was proclaimed as such in 1948, though a significant number of government buildings remained in Manila. Quezon City held status as the official capital until 1976 when a presidential decree was issued to reinstate and designate Manila as the capital and Metro Manila as the seat of government.

Elpidio Quirino 6th President of the Philippines

Elpidio Rivera Quirino was a Filipino politician of ethnic Ilocano descent who served as the sixth President of the Philippines from 1948 to 1953.

Sergio Osmeña 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946

Sergio Osmeña Sr. was a Filipino politician who served as the fourth President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon. Upon Quezon's sudden death in 1944, Osmeña succeeded him at age 65, becoming the oldest person to assume the Philippine presidency until Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 at age 71. A founder of the Nacionalista Party, Osmeña was also the first Visayan to become president.

Liberal Party (Philippines) liberal party in the Philippines

The Liberal Party of the Philippines, or LP, is a liberal political party in the Philippines, founded by then-senators Senate President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th Senatorial District Senator José Avelino on January 19, 1946. It is originally a breakaway liberal wing of the old Nacionalista Party. It was the ruling party from 2010 to 2016 after the election victory of Benigno Aquino III as the President of the Philippines. The party lost control in the 2016 presidential election and became the leading opposition party. As of the 2019 midterm elections, the party is still the primary opposition party and hold three seats in the Senate, 18 seats in the House of Representatives, two provincial governorships, and five vice governorships.

Julio Nakpil Filipino composer

Julio García Nakpil was a Filipino musician, composer and a General during the Philippine Revolution against Spain. He was a member of the Katipunan, a secret society turned revolutionary government which was formed to overthrow the Spanish government in the Philippines. His Katipunan adoptive name was J. Giliw or simply Giliw. He was commissioned by Andres Bonifacio, President of the Revolutionary Government, to compose a hymn which was intended to become the National Anthem of the Tagalog Republic. That hymn was entitled "Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan". Thus, to some, he is remembered as the composer of the first national anthem of the Philippines. He is also a known critic of Emilio Aguinaldo.

Gerardo "Dinggoy" Araneta Roxas Jr., sometimes referred as Gerry Roxas Jr., was a Filipino politician who served as a former congressman from Capiz. He was the brother of former Senator and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas and grandson of former President Manuel Roxas.

Arsenio H. Lacson was a Filipino journalist and politician who gained widespread attention as Mayor of Manila from 1952 to 1962. An active executive likened by Time and The New York Times to New York's Fiorello La Guardia, he was the first Manila mayor to be reelected to three terms. Nicknamed "Arsenic" and described as "a good man with a bad mouth", Lacson's fiery temperament became a trademark of his political and broadcasting career. He died suddenly from a stroke amidst talk that he was planning to run in the 1965 presidential election.

The Araneta family is an influential Filipino family that originated from Guipúzcoa, the Basque region of northern Spain. The name is derived from the Basque word "aran" meaning valley, with the suffix "eta" meaning abundance of, but also a locative term denoting "place" - in this case, the Araneta name meaning the family that comes from the valley.

Bonifacio Flores Arévalo was a Filipino ilustrado, dentist, sculptor, propagandist, and an ardent patron of music and theater. He was the treasurer of La Liga Filipina and the founder of the Sociedad Dental de Filipinas, which is now known as the Philippine Dental Association.

Juan Arévalo was an Assembly Member of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, which was proclaimed in 1898. He was the son of Bonifacio Flores Arévalo and Trinidad Arévalo. His remains are buried with other Assembly Members of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, at the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución in Manila North Cemetery.

Marcelo H. del Pilar Shrine National Shrine commemorating the birthplace of Marcelo H. del Pilar

The Marcelo H. del Pilar Shrine is a declared national shrine by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in honor of Filipino lawyer, poet and propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar. Located at Sitio Cupang, Brgy. San Nicolas, Bulakan, Bulacan, the shrine is the former site of the house of the del Pilar clan. Currently, the shrine is under the management of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Hidalgo Street

Hidalgo Street is a street located in Quiapo in the old downtown of Manila, Philippines. It runs east–west through the center of the district linking two of the district's most popular landmarks, Quiapo Church and San Sebastian Church. It is divided by Quezon Boulevard into two sections. The western section is a pedestrian zone that forms the southern boundary of Plaza Miranda running parallel to Carriedo Street. The eastern section is a two-lane street which leads to the San Sebastian Church. Formerly known during the Spanish colonial times as Calle San Sebastian, it was renamed after Félix Resurrección Hidalgo. It was once considered “the most beautiful street in Manila.”

Index of Metro Manila-related articles Wikipedia index

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the Philippine capital region of Metro Manila.

Presidential Car Museum

The Presidential Car Museum is a museum within the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution

The Mausoluem of the Veterans of the Revolution is a memorial and national monument dedicated to Filipino revolutionaries of the Philippine Revolution of the 1890s and the Philippine-America War situated inside the Manila North Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.

Filemon Sotto y Yap was a Filipino Visayan lawyer, legislator, and politician from Cebu, Philippines. He was a newspaper publisher and founded the periodicals El Imperial, Ang Kaluwasan, La Opinion, and La Revolucion. He served as member of Cebu municipal board, Congressman of Cebu's 3rd district for the Philippine Assembly (1907–1916), Senator of the Philippine Legislature (1916–1922), delegate to the 1934 Constitutional Convention, and delegate to the Institute of National Language (1937).

Philippines National Historic Landmarks is a registry of historic sites in the Philippines that have been officially declared by the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property.


  1. James Chance (2010). "Living with the dead: Manila's North Cemetery". Pictures of the Year International. Donald W Reynolds Journalism Institute. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. Republic of the Philippines: Presidential Museum and Library."Our Heritage and the Departed: A Cemeteries Tour Archived 2015-09-28 at the Wayback Machine ".
  3. 1 2 Palafox, Quennie Ann (4 September 2012). "Cemeteries of Memories, Where Journey to Eternity Begins". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Vintage Philippines. December 2, 2010. "Manila North Cemetery: A Time Capsule of Philippine History Archived 2014-05-03 at the Wayback Machine ".
  5. Sauler, Erik. November 2, 2012. Philippine Daily Inquirer. "From buko shakes to portalets, entrepreneurs thrive at Manila North Cemetery".
  6. Valenzuela, Nikka G. (2019-10-30). "Illegal settlers out of Manila North Cemetery". Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  7. Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. pp. 331–332, 339. ISBN   978-971-542-579-7.
  8. Philippine Daily Inquirer. November 2, 2012. "Did You Know: Manila North Cemetery".
  9. CWGC Casualty record.
  10. Walter Ang. October 28, 2013. "8 Trivia About Manila Cemeteries".