Friday, October 31, 2014

Manila Chinese Cemetery... It's not just a cemetery, its history. (Part 3)

Maybe you're wondering why the Chinese placed those colored paper and those delicious foods on the grave of their departed - Oh come on, that's not just about decorations and it's not just about being festive.

When we were there last week, I already saw a lot of Chinese families placing food and colored papers on top of the tombs. According to their customs, traditions and beliefs - the colored paper represents roof tiles. They believe that the tomb is a metaphor of a house and the tombstones are the doorways.

Paper money and food are kind of offerings for the afterlife. Bright, round fruits like oranges and pears is a must. It has something to do with the wholeness and completeness that is associated with the family. They are also symbols of wealth and luck.

The Chinese have traditionally regarded it critical for the dead to be buried, yet cremation is a popular choice among the Chinese Buddhists. Maybe because the Buddha’s body was cremated and this set the example for many Buddhists.

The Ruby Tower Memorial

On August 2, 1968 an earthquake with an intensity 7 rocked Manila and the 6-storey Ruby Tower collapsed. The entire building, save for a portion of the first and second floors at its northern end, was destroyed. Allegations of poor design and construction, as well as use of low-quality building materials, arose.

Today, the Ruby Tower Memorial stand to remember those who perished in that catastrophe.

The Regal Mausoleum

Virgilio Lobregat's Tomb (from Billion

Other known personalities are were buried in the Manila Chinese Cemetery are:
  • UNO High School ( Filipino- Chinese School ) founder Don Domingo Yu Chu. [ It is known to be one of the biggest mausoleum in the Manila Chinese Cemetery and is more popularly known as Regal mausoleum since Regal is the film company  Mrs. Lily Y. Monteverde, his granddaughter. ]

  • Girl Scouts organizer Josefa Llanes Escoda (in an unmarked grave).

  • Filipino Brigadier General and hero during World War II and Boy Scouts of the Philippines charter member Vicente Lim.

  • Literary geniuses Rafael Roces and Manuel Arguilla.

  • Star athlete-turned-guerrilla spy Virgilio Lobregat.

  • Chinese Consul General Yang Guangsheng.

  • Dee Cheng Chuan, founder of first Chinese bank in the Philippines (Chinabank).

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