Wednesday, August 1, 2012

on hallowed ground

No, it's not All Souls' Day, though the sky looked forlorn that afternoon.

Cindy, Kuya Ferdie, and I had attended Kuya Dennis' daughter's seventh birthday party in Rizal, Laguna. Since the way back home would lead us to a a tourist spot, we took the opportunity to stop at Nagcarlan, Laguna's famous Underground Cemetery. The last time I'd been there before this side trip was when I was in grade school, so I can't really remember what it looked like... or if I had taken note of the church's features or was so engrossed with the creepy stories being told.

Anyway, during this trip, we were lucky that we were the only tourists taking a look. The guide at the church's doorway had no one to talk with and so we were able to interview him about the Underground Cemetery and the church.

pathway leading to the Underground Cemetery's chapel
inside the Underground Cemetery compound

It felt peaceful here: to walk along the brick path and to be surrounded by a manicured lawn. These, despite the proximity to the main road, just outside that gate. It even felt so far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, when in fact, the nearest city is San Pablo, just a few minutes away.

The church interior had this ancient feel to it; well, it literally has stood the test of time. The area, being sacred ground, was left relatively untouched by the Japanese during World War II. It had been the secret hideout of the Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution. The crypt was also used as refuge by Filipino fighters during the Filipino-American War. The walls, the bricks, and the ceiling have a lot of stories to share... if only they could talk, right?