The simborio of Plaridel’s original cemetery

The simborio, a cemetery chapel of Plaridel's original catholic cemetery, the only remaining structure now engulfed by houses. The current cemetery is at the opposite end of the block.

The simborio, a cemetery chapel of Plaridel’s original catholic cemetery, the only remaining structure now engulfed by houses. The current cemetery is at the opposite end of the block.

It is a bit hard to find. All I told the tricycle driver was to bring me to Simborio, near the old catholic church of Plaridel in Bulacan. He knows the place as, probably, a sitio’s name, a locality but didn’t actually know that it used to be a cemetery with only the simborio or the cemetery chapel that stood amidst graves and niches.

Just as we passed by, I saw a glimpse of the simborio structure and promptly told the driver to stop. Went down, paid my fare and entered a small alley with the heritage structure directly at the center. Where there were graves before are modern houses now, circling the cemetery chapel.

It was in such a sad state. Crumbling. The tip of the octagonal dome is broken, there were pieces of missing cornices as the cemetery chapel made from adobe stones with bricks in between layers is fenced and the gate locked. Colorful clothes were hung to dry on the metal railing.

At the bottom were several semicircular niches ringing on all sides except at the entrance. From the exterior are lancet windows but are actually rectangular ones but used brick and mortar to form the lancet arch. The surface, both interior and exterior have extensive damage due to weathering of material as well as cracks in several parts of the interior.

I don’t have any information when this structure was built or why the cemetery was cleared except for the chapel although the present catholic cemetery is located at the opposite side of the block with portions having the adobe stone fence.

Niches ring around the cemetery chapel's lower part

Niches ring around the cemetery chapel’s lower part

The cemetery chapel of Plaridel's original Catholic cemetery, the only remaining structure, now bounded by houses. The current cemetery is found at the other side of the block.

The cemetery chapel of Plaridel’s original Catholic cemetery, the only remaining structure, now bounded by houses. The current cemetery is found at the other side of the block.

At the entrance of the chapel

At the entrance of the chapel

The top of the cemetery chapel's dome is broken off

The top of the cemetery chapel’s dome is broken off

View of the chapel's interior

View of the chapel’s interior. Notice how the windows were covered at the exterior to form the lancet arches.

The top of the octagonal dome

The top of the octagonal dome

Litter, graffiti and negligence marks the sad state of this cemetery chapel

Litter, graffiti and negligence marks the sad state of this cemetery chapel

Detail of the semicircular niches that ring around the lower part of the simborio

Detail of the semicircular niches that ring around the lower part of the simborio

Clockwise from top, right: chipped off cornice; detail of brick and adobe walls deteriorating thru weathering; detail of capital; details aboe the columns

Clockwise from top, right: chipped off cornice; detail of brick and adobe walls deteriorating thru weathering; detail of capital; details above the columns

Adobe walls of Plaridel's Catholic cemetery. I'm not really sure if these are still original or was just rebuilt because of how it looks. Only a portion is existing.

Adobe walls of Plaridel’s Catholic cemetery. I’m not really sure if these are still original or was just rebuilt because of how it looks. Only a portion is existing.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks Estan for featuring the simborio from Plaridel.

    I was born and raised in Plaridel but never knew that this structure exist. I finished high school housed in the building situated beside the church and and that was being administered by the Catholic nuns from Sienna college. Secondly, my father was buried in the Catholic cemetery. But no one told me or perhaps even to my friends and relatives from our barangay a few kilometers from the town proper that there is this cemetery chapel. I never got to see this place until now in picture.

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