Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery: Philippines’ Distinct Graveyard | Nagcarlan, Laguna

The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is a national historical landmark located at Barangay Bambang, Nagcarlan, Laguna. It is the only underground cemetery of its kind in the Philippines. It was built in 1845 under the supervision of Franciscan priest, Fr. Vicente Velloc. Today, it is supervised by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

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At the gate of the underground cemetery

The circular baroque-style cemetery lies within a one hectare property. It is surrounded by octagonal stone walls made of red tiles with iron-wrought grills. Its chapel contains a statue of Santo Sepulcro and serves as a place for funeral mass. 15 feet below the chapel is an underground graveyard consisting of 36 tombs arranged in four walls. The crypt and chapel is connected by two flights of steps. The first nine steps lead to a Spanish inscription while the last six steps lead to the underground crypt.

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Inside the chapel where a statue of Santo Sepulcro can be seen
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The underground crypt

More Interesting Facts About Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

  • The cemetery’s underground crypt is exclusively for Spanish friars, prominent town citizens and members of elite Catholic families only.
  • It served as a meeting place of revolutionary leaders of the Katipunan in 1896. Pedro Paterno and Gen. Severino Taiño held a meeting at the cemetery where they planned the historic Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897.
  • It was a hideout for Filipino leaders during thePhilippine-American War and of guerillas in World War II.
  • Since its declaration as a National Historical Landmark by virtue of Presidential Decree no. 260, dated August 1, 1973, no more burials were allowed in the cemetery.
  • The oldest tomb at the cemetery is dated 1886.
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Apartment-type niches on the walls 

*Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is open from Tuesdays-Sundays at 8am-4pm.

How to go to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery?

Via Sta. Cruz: From Cubao/Buendia/Alabang, ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz. Get off at Sta. Cruz public market and ride a jeepney bound to Nagcarlan which his will pass by the underground cemetery.

Via San Pablo City: From Cubao/Buendia/Alabang, ride a bus bound to Lucena. Get off at San Pablo City junction and ride a jeepney/tricycle to the jeepney terminal of Nagcarlan/Liliw. Travel time approx 45mins.

Side Trip: SAN BARTOLOME APOSTOL PARISH CHURCH (also known as Nagcarlan Church)

After Nagcarlan was colonized in 1571 by Spanish conqueror Juan Salcedo, the town was founded in 1578. Five years later in 1583, Nagcarlan Church was first built made from light materials such as nipa and wood. The second church made of brick and stone was built in 1752 but partly destroyed by fire in 1781. The church was eventually reconstructed in 1845, the same year the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was built.

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Facade of the baroque style Nagcarlan Church

*The San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church is located at the town proper of Nagcarlan. It is a kilometer away from the underground cemetery, less than a 10-minute jeepney ride.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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TheTraveLad

Professional Civil Engineer. Proud Filipino. Traveler.

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