Its not in Nagcarlan town, Laguna! Its in MajayjayI I think there is even a town in between the two (Liliw?). But that is how the place is called and we are here to re-write history hehe! It does not even look “underground” – if you were looking from the road! Then again, They would not have called it such for nothing, right?!
I/We did not know there was something like this. We just happened to have passed by the area and noticed the rather era-style compound from the fence to most every structure. So I requested that we drop by for a quick view at what might this place be. Whoa! An ancient cemetery! At least that’s what it looks!
There probably is an NHI marker that we just did not see as we were in haste. And there were not so many people around for me to ask. It was in fact just about to be closed. At least someone told me this place is called Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery and it is supposed to be historic.
I will not be ashamed to admit that most of the info I got (actually all) was from a balikabayan lady who was there to visit with her family and they were just about to go as the caretaker was ready to close the “facility”!
That lovely facade that looks like a church? Well, it is a church. Was a church which the lady told me still have mass services during holy week.
Why is it named “Nagcarlan” when it is in Majayjay? Lady said this place was still probably part of Nagarlan in the past. In my mind I just said “okay, fine, but why is the nearby Majayjay Church also ancient which tells me Majayjay is an old town. The dear balikbayan laughi9ng with me said “probably Nagcarlan is much much older”! I’ll accept that for that’s a plausible inference hehe!
Why is it called “underground” when the burial “cabinets” are what surrounds this place like a fence. The dear lady told me, those are of the common people, but down inside and below the church are more burial crypts, reason why this is called an underground cemetery. She even teased me to go down so the manong caretaker can lock me up! Duuu!
Why a church surrounded by the dead. Hmm, I am thankful she educated me on this… she told me that in our present day scenario, this church would probably compare to a chapel in a cemetery – which is usually the case. She thinks it was called a church since the size is unusually large than even the recent day cemetery chapels. I agree!
Historic? Lady told me that dungeon-like place below the chapel, which we only dared peep anyway, had been a hideout of our forebears during the war. Wow! So I asked how come she knew all about those. She beamed to tell me that she was a beautiful young public school teacher in this town (Majayjay) until she was plucked by her children to migrate and live permanently in the states. Oh well!
The place reminds me of Paco Park, only that this one has more beautiful surroundings. As we walked towards the exit/road area, we could hear some creaks and clangs as the caretaker started closing up. Eeeerieee!
Something for me to go back to Majayjay and read more on! As of now, I can only say, if you are going there folks, never on a late gloomy afternoon of a rainy day. It feels creepy being just on the grounds. How much more go down that underground cemetery. Duuu! Ayaw!