Manila Cemeteries (1900-1919)

The one hectare Sampaloc cemetery located in the hills of Balic-balic was completed around 1890 (first burial done 1890) although the funerary chapel was reported completed by Fr. Ramon Caviedas in February 1891. Balic-balic cemetery was one of the cemeteries still being used during the American colonial period.  The American health authorities submitted regular reports on the number of burials done in the various cemeteries of Manila (1900-1919). The Manila cemeteries identified in these reports were as follows:

  1. Balicbalic
  2. Binondo
  3. Cathedral
  4. Chinese
  5. La Loma
  6. Malate
  7. Maytubig
  8. Maytubig-Ermita
  9. Maytubig-Dilao
  10. Maytubig-San Marcelino
  11. Norte
  12. Paco
  13. Pandacan
  14. Pandacan-Roman Catholic
  15. Pandacan-Filipino Independent
  16. Sampaloc
  17. San Pedro Macati
  18. San Pedro Macati – English
  19. Santa Ana
  20. Santa Cruz
  21. Singalong
  22. Tondo

The North cemetery (built during the American colonial period) had the largest number of burials (70, 861 from 1904 to 1919) with only around 288 burials in 1904 to 5,925 in 1919. The Manila cemeteries with the next largest number of burials paled in comparison with the North cemetery. Balicbalic cemetery only had 19, 080 burials (for the same period). Binondo cemetery had 18,993 and La Loma had 19, 781 burials. Binondo, Balicbalic, and La Loma cemeteries were all built during the Spanish period. We do not have American burial reports for 1920 onward (probably still hidden in some library or archive) but oral tradition in Balic-balic states the burials continued to be done even after 1919 but with the cemetery officially closed by 1925. Even then, Balic-balic cemetery had served the people of Sampaloc well (from 1890 to 1925). In fact, not just residents of Sampaloc, but of Quiapo and San Miguel were reported to have been buried at the Sampaloc cemetery as well.


Image: Paco Cemetery, the grand old cemetery of Manila. Last burial statistics reported for Jan-June 30, 1912 with a total of 364 burials for that period.


~ by Martin Gaerlan on October 16, 2006.

6 Responses to “Manila Cemeteries (1900-1919)”

  1. Would you know where the British/English cemetery at San Pedro Macati is located?

  2. the British/English cemetery does not exist anymore. The former cemetery grounds is now a residential area developed by the Ayala Corporation.

    • Thank you so much for your reply. We’re looking an Australian war hero on behalf of his family. He was buried in the “British cemetery at San Pedro Macati.” Would you know the exact location or by any chance, would you have an idea if the graves were relocated? Thank you again for your time and input. Really appreciate it.

      • please check your email for a separate response. Martin R. Gaerlan Consultant soulworkz: not a company, but a philosophy Mobile 63-916-614-6030 Landline 63-559-1982 Email Website


  3. I was a student of HTA from 1970 – 1981. Saan po inilipat ang mga patay ng magsara ang sementeryo? Do you have old pictures of the cemetery?

  4. The remains were probably transferred to other nearby cemeteries. in some cases, some bones were left behind. that is why you hear stories of workmen digging up bones during the construction of the some of the buildings in Holy.

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