Are you afraid of cemeteries? I do! But after joining a walking tour through a few Cebu cemeteries, I got to appreciate stories of dead people and a bunch of funerary architectures. And out of these labyrinth of tombs is a community that has been living with the dead.
CemenTOURyo is derived from merging the words tour and sementeryo, a Cebuano term for cemetery. It was lead by Cebu’s best heritage interpreter and tour guide, Ka Bino Guerrero. That day, we checked out 3 nearby cemeteries around the corners of General Maxilom Avenue and M.J. Cuenco Avenue in Cebu City.
Doña Pepang Cemetery
The Doña Pepang cemetery was built for Don Sergio’s first wife, Doña Estefania Chiong Veloso-Osmeña. A huge mausoleum can be seen in the middle that has a crypt where the ancestors of the Osmeñas are buried.
One of the big cemeteries in Cebu City is in Carreta where there are certain parts divided into plots. One of these is the Asociacion Benefica Española de Cebu for the Spanish-Filipino families. Another plot was dedicated for War Veterans.
Cebu Chinese Cemetery
There were a lot of interesting things I learned about the Chinese people and tradition. From the shapes of mausoleums, signs and symbols on the tombs and even stories of influential people in the past. Laid here are the ancestors of the owner of Chong Hua hospital, Gaisano malls, Gothong shipping lines and other Chinese businessmen.
Living with the dead
The community inside the cemeteries are mostly composed of caretakers. They have lived here for decades and eventually built their families and passed on through generations. Their grandchildren have grown up to walk and run along the tombs. The funny thing is every time we ask if they have seen or got spooked by ghosts, their answer is no.
The CemenTOURyo is a unique tour through Cebu cemeteries that only a few may be interested. Actually it was just one of the trial runs to simulate the experience and gather more facts and trivia. For interested parties you may contact Ka Bino of Galleon San Pedro Tours.
Personally, I enjoyed the tour out of curiosity for something different. I gained more appreciation in giving value to the dead ones and how we should live our life worthy to be remembered. 🙂
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