Today is All Saints’ Day and Filipino Catholics, like many other Catholics around the world, spend this holiday and the next, which is All Souls’ Day, by visiting the graves of their departed loved ones. The Manila South Cemetery within Makati City is one of the several large cemeteries Filipinos flock to in Metro Manila.
This 25-hectare square-shaped cemetery (about the same size and shape as the campus of the University of Santo Tomas), is where President Elpidio Quirino is buried. His tomb lies at the rotunda at the very center of the cemetery. Adjacent to the cemetery at its northeastern corner is its smaller cousin, the Makati Catholic Cemetery.
One interesting fact that you probably didn’t know about Manila South Cemetery is that this is a public cemetery that is managed by the City of Manila. In fact, the land on which the cemetery is sitting on is part of the territory of the capital1, which makes this burial ground an exclave of Manila and an enclave in Makati. According to a good friend of mine who revels in this type of information, the Manila South Cemetery is administratively part of the district of San Andres, and previously of Sta. Ana, before San Andres was separated. Check out the map of Manila at the city hall and you’ll see this cemetery highlighted as part of its jurisdiction.
This arrangement between Makati and Manila provides for some interesting scenarios. For instance, while Manila’s Finest (aka Manila’s Western Police District) is in charge of the cemetery’s security (like doing bag inspections at the gates and patrolling for rowdy behavior this holiday week), the Makati policemen of the Metro Manila Southern Police District is in charge of traffic management and rerouting around the periphery. In addition, during local elections, you shouldn’t be surprised to see posters for candidates in Manila plastered in and around the cemetery.
1 A person in an online forum claims, however, that the cemetery is actually Makati’s land just leased to Manila.