Manila Chinese Cemetery is a two-way street lined with houses and villas, some of which are two to three stories high. These buildings are tombs, but they aren't just facades. They are completely functional homes with modern amenities including air conditioning, toilets, bathrooms with hot and cold running water, and kitchens. On weekends, families will often visit the deceased in their houses, taking food and incense sticks.
The Manila Chinese Cemetery, was established in the late 1800s for non-Catholic Chinese who were refused burial in Catholic cemeteries by Spanish colonials. At the time, the Chinese settlers who traded in a number of trades were among the wealthiest citizens in Manila. They designed the grandest of all cemeteries to reflect their growing economic success and influence.
Even today, many of Manila's wealthiest families have a blend of Chinese and Filipino ancestry, as shown by the extravagant tombs they have constructed for their ancestors. A plot in the Manila Chinese Cemetery will easily pay up to 50 million Pesos for a 25-year lease, after which a new rental charge must be charged or the body must be relocated. In addition to non-Catholic Chinese, many Chinese Christians are buried in this cemetery today.
The best way to get here is to ride a jeepney or bus going to Santa Cruz, Manila. Ask the driver to drop you off at the cemetery.
It is available for tourists everyday from 9 AM to 3 PM.