Historical sites anywhere in the world signify the flourishing of cultural prestige assimilation and global prominence. This is the major reason why, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of social development is mainly focused on various precepts which exemplary overbear the values, attitudes, behaviors and social well-being of the whole citizenry. In the Philippines, these places are the inexpressible landscapes of cultural diversity as well as the molding of a nation’s sense of history, in the past and in the centuries ahead. Nagcarlan Laguna is a fourth-ranked municipality in the overall territorial boundary of Laguna Province.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

The mysterious but world famous Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery reveres the dead with so much sacredness.

Moreover, it has an estimated populace of 48,727 and a vast total land area of 11,489 hectares. Insofar as its tourism industry is concerned, one of its famous tourist attractions is nonetheless the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan in Laguna. Briefly, this somewhat a notorious but spine-tingling tourist spot which was built under the stewardship of the noble Franciscan evangelists in year 1845. Generally, the term underground cemetery refers to a graveyard that is hidden under a small place of worship in Nagcarlan.The majestic architectural magnificence of an Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan was made possible through the extensive and critical makeovers of another notable Roman Catholic Church, named as the Saint Bartholomew Temple in 1851. The latter had once become the political fortress of gallant Katipuneros of Laguna, during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Over the years, the unpredictable tides of political changes which all started in 1973; after the tumultuous “Quarters Storm” during the Marcos regime, had historically declared Nagcarlan Laguna’s Underground Cemetery as a National Heritage Site, five years later.

In so doing, the thirst for its intensive exploration and discovery has become a continuing process especially for the apostles of Archeology and Philippine History. According documented accounts, a mysterious legend has further added an intriguing atmosphere pertaining to the presence of a tunnel at the rear portion of the Saint Bartholomew Church. This secret passageway was allegedly the shortest alternative route going to another mystical tourist spot, Mount Banahaw. However, there is no concrete evidence that will authentically show the veracity of this historical legend in Laguna. Presumably, if this channel really did exist, it would have been extended with such an incomparable length. Therefore, making each of these distances more than that of the other related structures; and its nearby areas, including Mount Banahaw in general. One of its distinctive features is an inner chapel which used to be the headquarters of KKK members in Laguna.

Moreover, the artistic and spacious churchyard of the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan Laguna is filled with graves one after the other, which are 15 feet under the ground.In addition, the exterior walls of Nagcarlan’s sacred sanctuary have been mercilessly dilapidated together with its remarkably ornamented ceilings. Laguna’s Underground Cemetery is a subtle and exotic reflection of the Spanish regime’s colonial approach to architecture. In this regard, the brilliant mind of Friar Vicente Velloc had beautifully conceived the most unique work of art in Philippine Architecture. Actually, there are 240 niches which are just beside the chapel. Basically, its marvelous and impeccable church grounds have been fashioned with octagonal geometric shapes which are carefully encapsulated in sturdy wrought iron grills, perfectly combined with a high quality stone work that is similar to that of a costly drapery of the rich and famous. Despite of these inevitable architectural flaws, Nagcarlan Laguna’s Underground Cemetery has remained to be a serene and priceless resting place for those countless souls whose tombs are carefully enshrined in an altar of reverence and fortitude.

In the said tabernacle, there were several rituals which have been performed in order to grant the final sacraments for these inert physical bodies. In these modern times, this historical tourist attraction of Nagcarlan is no longer a site of agitation and fear. Instead, those visitors who have already discovered this hidden paradise with an unspeakable grandeur have successfully transformed this ancient mortuary into a social rendezvous where they can talk about their ways and means of life, without pretentions. Topographically there are well-maintained lawns outside the cemetery. Additionally, people can freely take pictures of the fascinating panoramic views at Nagcarlan Laguna’s Underground Cemetery. More so, from the façade of this scenic spot in Laguna, spectators might think that this is an ordinary place for burial. But, as they get closer to their destination it is extremely different inside and out.

Similarly, its chapel has wall crypts on both sides of this most revered point of interest in Laguna. Inside its premises, there is a staircase that seemed to be created in a downward direction. To personally experience how it feels to be in such an eerie place, you and your loved ones might have unusual feelings of fear and other strange manifestations as a result of the other extraordinary phenomenon, in the area. Nevertheless, try to proceed to a darker section or chamber which has only a few light bulbs which serve as a guiding light of travelers during the course of their entire trip. Logically, the atmosphere around the underground cemetery is literally as quiet as the sound of a wind. Therefore, everyone should keep their voices toned down in order not to disturb the peaceful and contented souls in and around this enchanting mortuary in Laguna.

According to an anonymous caretaker of the cemetery, there are elite members of the society who were secretly buried here for some unknown reason. Last but not the least, it is made of an arched passageway which acts the main entrance of this odd tourist destination in Laguna. Looking around, you will see a Holy image of a Sepulcher that is placed in the mid-section of the chapel cum cemetery rolled into one.

Entrance Rates

Unlike any other National Historical Sites in the Philippines, the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, Laguna has NO ENTRANCE FEE. All that you need to do is to sign in their guest list. There is an approachable receptionist with a logbook at the main entrance of the cemetery.

Opening or Visiting Hours

This tourist attraction is opened daily from 8:00 in the morning, till 4:00 P.M., every Tuesdays to Sundays, except during Good Fridays and holidays.

Location

Speaking of its location, the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, Laguna can be easily found along the busy highway. This is the Nagcarlan-Rizal Road. To be sure that you are heading on the right track, you are advised to bring with you a map that will make your journey much easier.

Getting There

Several options are being suggested by those local and foreign voyagers, who have already personally visited the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, Laguna. Here are some of these very accessible routes that you can freely choose from; while you are still planning on how to make your trip more enjoyable and safe at the same time. From Manila to San Pablo, ride those buses which are found along Gil Puyat, EDSA Buendia and Taft Avenue streets. These transportations are off to Batangas and Lucena. Conversely, if you are from San Pablo City, it would be just a few blocks away from the Cathedral of San Pablo. Therefore, you have to patiently look for those jeeps with colorful signboards, Nagcarlan. These public vehicles are found outside the San Pablo Cathedral.

To wrap up this article about the infamous Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, Laguna, this eternally beautiful and significant tourist spot can only be described in one word.-TRANSCENDENTAL. It is one of the best historical treasures of the Philippines which has genuinely defined the real meaning of architectural elegance, without taking away the historical value of this underground cemetery for so many years. Likewise, this ancient mortuary in the abyss of a Catholic Church was able to flawlessly rectify the wrong notion that graveyards are scary places and should not be considered a tourist hangout in any other way. With the unexpected establishment and discovery of this adorable cemetery, the town of Nagcarlan has proudly proved to the world that human intelligence can do inexplicable wonders in the blink of an eye.

Category: Travel

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