Monday, October 19, 2009

Xie-xie

Been a while since I last posted here. Somewhere along the way, real life (moved house, got married, et cetera, et cetera) caught up with me. Am just happy that things are slowly returning to its old way.
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Alrighty then, last Saturday my T and I decided to take advantage of the calm before the storm (Typhoon Ramil expecting to hit the northern part of country this midweek) and headed off to the Manila Chinese Cemetery. One bus ride and two train transfers after we finally reached our destination. We used the south gate as the one in the north is almost always close. We were greeted by two guards who, in a way, insisted that we use the services of a tour guide which was not really a bad thing considering the cemetery is about 60 hectares and the chances of missing the really interesting places was pretty high should we decide to wander on our own. Our guide was also a caretaker of the mausoleums inside. He's 62 years old and he (claims that he) was born in the cemetery (that totally freaked me out!)

Now for a little background: The Manila Chinese Cemetery is the second oldest in Manila and was the resting place of the Chinese citizens who were denied burial by the Catholic church during the Spanish occupation. It is considered the City of the Dead. Its mausoleums are lavish and come with almost all creature comforts that we know of (home furnishings, A/C, etc.).

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One thing I found weird was the altar of Buddha, the Virgin Mary, Confucius and other famous religious leaders. Some practitioners may find that juxtaposition a little strange but I think the subliminal message there was that there is no need for religious wars. (My apologies for the blurred image below. It was almost sunset and we were losing good light.)

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Admission fee: Free
Tour guide fee: Negotiable

2 comments:

Hilda said...

Welcome back, Madame Bechet! And congratulations! May God bless the two of you with a long, happy and loving life together.

Never been inside the Chinese Cemetery, but it looks like it's worth the trip! That mausoleum looks big enough to be a small family's house! Fabulously ornate too.

Ann said...

Thanks Hilda:) It still feels weird having a different last name attached to my old one but hey, its all good.

I can tell you that a visit to the Chinese Cemetery is a must. Avoid Sundays as the cemetert can get crowded - most of the family members come and visit their departed loved ones for a weekend reunion of sorts. Some of them frown on having their mausoleums being photographed.

Congratulations on your nomination. Well deserved.