Cementerio de Binondo (La Loma Cemetery)
Fr. Ramon Caviedas, the Franciscan friar who built the Sampaloc cemetery located at the hills of Balic-balic, Sampaloc, Manila, was himself buried on a cemetery located on the hills of La Loma (called cementerio de Binondo as it was formerly part of the jurisdiction of Santa Cruz, Manila during the Spanish colonial period).
Photo right: Today, one enters the former Binondo cemetery from Jose Abad Santos. Note the iron gate with the “campo santo de la loma” sign. The design shows a degree of similarity with the original, and very beautiful, wrought iron grill gate of Binondo cemetery.
According to Architect Lorelei D.C. de Viana, the cemetery of Binondo was surrounded by a three meter high stone masonry fence and had distinctive wrought iron grill gate with statues of angels guarding it. Below is an 1899 image taken from a stereograph printed by Underwood and Underwood.
The photo above shows the original iron grill main gate (with two smaller side gates) of Binondo cemetery located at La Loma. The funerary chapel can be seen from the background with the distinctive dome design. However, what is interesting to note are the two iron column pairs which bears strong resemblance to the iron columns that stands in today’s entrance to La Loma cemetery. What happened to these very beautiful cemetery gate?
Photo above shows what remains of the once very beautiful gate of Binondo cemetery – a mute memorial to the neglect of historical and church heritage architecture. The wrought iron gates are no more…one asks again, were the gates sold to scrap iron dealers, or to antique dealers?
Close-up of what remains of the right stone column of the main entrance to Binondo cemetery complete with graffiti.