Cholera Epidemic of 1882

Yes, a requiem will be a fitting tribute to the beginnings of our sacred story. Indeed, if we had the chance to meet face to face, you would have heard about the story of how a forgotten sacred ground of the dead became the holy ground of the living.

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The cholera epidemic of 1882 devastated so much of Manila and the environs that some estimate place the dead at 1,000 on one particularly horrible day. Funeral carriages of all shapes and sizes clogged the roads leading to the cemeteries of Manila. Even church bells were unceremoniously prohibited from ringing for the dead so as not to add to the woes of despair of an already fearful population. The poor Church of Our Lady of Loreto of Sampaloc didn’t even have enough space to bury their dead thus bodies of victims where transported to the hills of La Loma for burial. With the memory of the stench of death fresh in their minds, the parish priest of Sampaloc, together with the town officials, vowed that the dead of Sampaloc will have their own sacred burial place. Not having enough parish funds to build a proper cemetery outside the “poblacion” will no longer be accepted as an excuse.

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~ by Martin Gaerlan on July 22, 2006.

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