If you think Sagada hanging coffin is the most bizarre cemetery in the Philippines, you must see this weird FamiliaLuzuriaga Cemetery, a family owned property found in Bacolod City.
It has been featured in Ripley’s Believe it or not for hailing as the “only cemetery in the world at the intersection of two highways.”
The location of the private cemetery still continues to puzzle many.
(a)The Familia Luzuriaga Cemetary is an island of Lopez Jaena Street which intersects with Burgos Street. This intersection is locally called Bangga Patyo. The cemetery belongs to a prominent clan in Negros, the Ruiz de Luzuriaga family. The first Ruiz de Luzuriaga in Negros was Don Eusebio Ruiz de Luzuriaga who settled in Bacolod City in 1840 after he exiled himself from Spain. His son, Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga, later became an important figure in the Negros Revolution or the Al Cinco de Noviembre.
The family was also very generous to Bacolod City. In fact, the location of the Bacolod City Hall used to be the hacienda house of Don Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga and was donated to the city government. Other prominent members of the clan include movie director Peque Gallaga.
(a)For another bizarre story, you may like to read,
Probably the history of the private cemetery is only known to its family members. According to telltales, that the private cemetery is part of Bacolod’s public cemetery before. When roads needed to be built, it requires cutting a big chunk of the public cemetery.
(a)The families affected needed to relocate the graves of their departed. Some say in order to give honor to the longtime generosity of the Luzuriaga family, as not to disturb the family’s burial ground, the roads were made to curve instead of going straight. Some also say that the Luzuriaga family donated a property to the city government which most believed where the old city hall is located.
(a)The private cemetery is closed the whole year. You’ll only find someone, a caretaker or family members, visiting the graves to light candles and offer flowers during All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Frangipani trees also are known as kalachuchi grow in the cemetery. It is believed by locals that the strong scent produced by its flowers protects the spirits of the dead.
The mausoleum of the Luzuriaga family is surrounded by three other historic places in the city of Bacolod. These are the Jayme-Gamboa Mausoleum on the left side, the Burgos Public Cemetery on the right, and the Lopez Mausoleum across Burgos Street. The two other mausoleums were also built for the two former governors of the province, Antonio Jayme, and Manuel Lopez.
(a)Another unbelievable story, see
Raymond Alunan, provincial tourism operations assistant, said the history of the mausoleum can be traced back to the 1950’s when the City Government of Bacolod implemented a road widening project in the area. Alunan said that instead of displacing almost half of the mausoleum, the local government used only a portion of the Burgos Public Cemetery making it as another one-way road. Tombs at the affected portion were transferred inside the public cemetery to give way to the development.
“The City Government opted not to touch the Luzuriaga Mausoleum in exchange for the old city hall donated by the former governor,” Alunan said, adding that the government structure was then built on the site of the former Luzuriaga residence.
(a)The mausoleum is the root word of the museum which means a “resting place” or an area where a family is buried as a group. It was in the 1980’s when the Guinness Book of World Records listed the Familia de Luzuriaga Cemetery as the only family mausoleum built in the middle of the street.
From being the resting place of Luzuriaga in the 1920’s, the mausoleum now houses more than 10 other tombs of the former governor’s family members. It has remained a private mausoleum.
(a)Luzuriaga, who became the first appointed governor of Negros Occidental in 1901, served as arbiter or “middle person” of the Negrenses and Spaniards during the Negros Revolution. He can, therefore, be considered as one of the Negrense heroes vital to the province’s freedom from Spanish colonizers, Alunan said. Luzuriaga, an haciendero, contributed to the development of sugar industry during his stint as governor. He was one of the signatories for the separation of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental in 1901.
His major achievements also included being the first Filipino delegate to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, known as the St. Louis World’s Fair, in the United States in the 1900’s.
What makes it special is its rich story that mirrors the history, culture, and tradition of the Negrenses. Cemetery tour is now one of the emerging tourism offerings of the province. It is part of the cultural heritage tours attracting a growing number of local and foreign tourists.
(a)For other interesting stories, read
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