Thursday, January 30, 2014

Revisiting the Historical Paco Cemetery

It was one of those days when I impulsively let my wanderlust get a hold of me. And as always, I am rewarded with a beautiful experience. That day, my feet brought me to the former tomb of our national hero.

The gate of Paco Cemetery's inner wall. Paco Park, Manila.
I was ready for my class that day (at least I believe I was... lol!) except that, we have no classes (I learned when I was already in UP). I initially thought of going home but remembered a friend's invitation to visit Paco Park in Manila and afterwards, have some sort of food trip in Binondo. I chose Paco Park and Binondo.

Paco Cemetery Historical Marker. Paco Park, Manila.
The Paco Cemetery historical marker greeted me at the front gate of the cemetery's outer wall. Upon seeing the marker, my interest was sparked because any historical place for me is an interesting place. And indeed, it was interesting.

Gate of the park's interior wall. Paco Park, Manila.
Jherson of Lonely Travelogue, the one who invited me, met me at the interior gate of the park, and after some small talks, he accompanied and toured me around the park... with even more "small" talks... :) He actually arrived earlier than me and has already checked out and toured the place. 

Paco Park's fountain. Manila.
The park has an outer and interior wall, much like a smaller version of the famed Intramuros. Upon entering the inner wall, a fountain located at the very center of the circular park can be seen, accentuating the view of the cemetery chapel next to it.

Paco Cemetery Chapel. Paco Park, Manila.

St. Pancratius Chapel. Paco Park, Manila.

The circular inner wall's both ends terminate at the very beautiful cemetery chapel, the Chapel of St. Pancratius, which was formerly used for blessing remains before they were laid to rest but now serves a different purpose: a wedding ceremony venue. Actually, there was a wedding going on when we visited the place! 

Inner wall. Paco Park, Manila.
The cemetery's inner wall also serves as multi-level niches for the then "principalias" or rich people. When the niches became full, another wall was built to accommodate more interments.

Embossed Skulls. Outer Wall, Paco Park, Manila.
Just like Intramuros walls, Paco Park's walls upper part where made into pathways which gives the visitors a good elevated view of the park, and other views outside. 

Paco Park's inner wall upper part pathways showing original precasts dating back to the Spanish Era.

Paco Park's inner wall's pathway.
This park served a very important part in history because this is where the three martyr priests, GOMBURZA, was interred. But much more than that, this is where Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, was laid to rest after being shot in Bagumbayan. 

Rizal's grave marker. Paco Park, Manila.

Rizal's grave. Paco Park, Manila.
The place where Rizal's remains were interred tells a story of the Spanish authorities' mockery of the national hero even after his death. He was interred in the spot where no respect to a dead person was observed. He didn't even was given a decent niche in the walls of the cemetery. The grave looks nice now but when placed in context during the time of Rizal's death, that spot was for definitely unimportant and "undesirable" people. 

St. Pancratius Church. Paco Park, Manila.
After paying some respect to Rizal's grave, we continued our round of the cemetery, now a beautiful park. I was definitely satisfied with what I saw, considering that I was able to personally see Rizal's historical grave, and feel a part of history, even just for some minutes. 

We then continued our tour to Binondo, and later San Miguel district where we met with another travel blogger friend, Billy of Galaero Escape Travels, with his friends Joy, Ezra and Ronna. That tour is another story to tell.

I always thank my urges when it comes to "gala". I definitely always will. :)
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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. Brod next time ill invite you in Quiapo naman. It will take a lifetime to explore Manila more so the Philippines. So gala lang ng gala... haha Cheers!

  2. I've been to this park before, a friend asked me out on a date and we were supposed to have a picnic. It was fun--ny. Hehehe

  3. I have not been here to this park. Maybe soon, not sure...