Cabatuan camposanto: the perimeter fence

The three arched entrances of the cemetery of Cabatauan, Iloilo.

Entrance into the cemetery is via three stone archways conveniently distanced, about a few meters from each other. All have the same design from the iron cross, the floral motif, down to the columns, lunettes and gate. A pair of urn like finials used to decorate the sides of the top arch. Now, only on finial remains which can be found at the right arch.

Left, the now discolored limestone blocks; middle, the back of the archway; right, lateral view of the top
of arch with cross.

It is easy to mistake the stone blocks as adobe but is in fact limestone. Due to time and wear, these have become discolored. I haven’t seen archival photos of this cemetery and I have a hunch that this might have been coated with paletada, a lime based coating used to protect soft stones. Surface protection with paletada was widely practiced not only here in the Philippines during the colonial era but also done in other colonies like in Latin America and India. Given the state of the structure, if left unchecked a few more years, I’m afraid that the stones of this cemetery will finally crumble.

Like other cemetery arches in the country, it is about a meter thick.

Left, detail of the back of the arch; right, detail of iron cross.

Heavy iron grill work can be found in the lunettes, the gate as well as between piers. Gian Alvarez indicated that iron smithing is an industry in this municipality and thus must have been forged here. I can’t help but notice the combined brickwork framing the arch found at the back. This structure also combines two types of arches: a full semi-circle which is found at the top and lunette, then a segmented arch found at the back. The latter is commonly used in other like structures particularly in Cebu.

Atop the arch is a clover cross but only three parts are equal in size with its stem elongated. A stylized base is decorated with floral motifs of wrought iron.

cabatuancamposanto8.jpgLeft, just above the iron gate is an inscription; right, detail of Tuscan column.

Just above the stone arch lunettes are rectangular relieved panels that have an inscription. Of the three arches, only one has retained it, the rest have been erased. It reads:

Hatagi siya O Ginoo sang capahuayan nga dayon

This translates to: Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

The facade of the arches are decorated with tuscan columns which can also be found at the pier, the chapel and niches. A stylized weblike floral motif tops the column.

cabatuancamposanto7.jpgLeft, detail of perimeter fence with iron work; right, detail of urn like finial.

Finally, massive stone piers line the perimeter fence and decorated with iron grills. The front have tuscan columns and atop most piers, is an urn like finial.

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  1. Pingback: Archival photos of Cabatuan cemetery | Simbahan

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