The Case of Makati’s Missing Cemetery

As far as the Urban Roamer’s knowledge was concerned, there was a smaller cemetery located right next to Manila South Cemetery, the Makati Cemetery in the city’s Barangay Valenzuela. So after roaming Manila South Cemetery, I decided to walk on and check out Makati Cemetery…

Only to find out it was actually closed, which was weird considering that cemeteries are not usually closed to the public unless something was up. It was only recently that I got the full story.

Apparently, the Makati Cemetery has been closed since 2008 because it was in such a poor state over the recent years. The original plan was it would be rehabilitated within the next five years to become a “world-class” type of resting place that a city of its stature deserves. Part of the plan involves building a crematorium and a four-storey columbarium as well.

Giving a sense of irony, the wall of the Makati Cemetery along the side of N. Garcia Street shows some of the Makati sights and projects made in recent years. Unfortunately, the Makati Cemetery is not one of them.

Five years have lapsed but until now, the cemetery remains closed and no sign of redevelopment has even begun in the area. According to a recent story, funds have already been allocated but the project has been put on hold for some strange reason. Could politics be a factor? Possibly, though I personally find it strange that it could take such a project to a standstill considering the administration there has a tight grip on the city and there’s not much opposition that would challenge them, at least in Makati.

In the light of the controversies the current Makati administration is facing, as well as that of its former mayor, now vice president, sadly, the Makati Cemetery project is being “buried” even deeper. Who knows when these long-stalled plans would be put into place so Makati’s dead would have a decent final resting place that they deserve to have?

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It is sad that such a thing is happening now at Makati Cemetery, considering it has a long history that dates as far back as the 19th century. Originally, the cemetery was located right across the old Makati church now known as St. Peter and Paul Church in Barangay Poblacion, where the church patio is now.

Not much information exists but records show that there were plans for its construction as far back as 1848. The cemetery was already in use by the late 19th century until the 1930s when it was moved uphill and was moved again to its present site in the 1950s.

As for the original site, it was redeveloped to become a plaza named Cristo del Rey (Christ the King) where a statue of Jesus Christ has been put in place of the old cemetery cross that used to stand there.

Acknowledgements as well to Rappler for the source of the story on the Makati Cemetery

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