Oslob church camposanto

<em>Camposanto</em> or the cemetery with original perimeter fence
Oslob’s camposanto with its main entrance arch, perimeter fence and mortuary chapel which are
all original.

Detail of relief found at the top of the arch with the words: RIP 1870
Detail of relief atop the entrance arch.
On 26 March 08, an 8 hour fire gutted the more than a century old kumbento (parish house) and church of Oslob in Cebu. What was left were the thick stone walls and belfry as well as an icon of the parish patron. This is my tribute to this beautiful and historic church with photos taken in 2005, 2006 and 2008. This is the 11th installment of a series.

Oslob is one of the South Cebu municipalities that still retains its original camposanto or cemetery with its main entrance arch, perimeter fence and mortuary chapel located at the center. It was built by Fray Mauricio Alvarez, the same parish priest who built the belfry and the stone perimeter fence surrounding the church.

Entrance to the cemetery is via a stone arch with columns about a meter thick. What is peculiar about this structure is the notable relief of a skull and crossbones, the letters RIP [Latin, requiescat in pace (rest in peace)] and the date, believed to be the time it was finished, 1870 located on top.

Perimeter wall leading to the cemetery. Red circle denotes the location of the inscription bearing the name of the street.
Stone perimeter fence leading to the cemetery from the church. The red circle denotes the location
of the inscribed street name (below).

Inscription reads: Calle de Camposanto 1897
Calle de Camposanto 1897
On one of the perimeter stone fence between the cemetery and the church is an inscription, though barely recognizable, bearing the name of the street and the year: Calle de Camposanto 1897.

The perimeter fence of the cemetery is similar to the one constructed around the church. The mortuary chapel, located at the center has already been renovated with cemented parts and partitions as well as a badly made portico. Several modern niches have been constructed at the front flanking the main doorway of the chapel that only the capital of the columns can be seen, barely. The roof, originally tejado (made from tiles like the roof of the kumbento) is now replaced with galvanized iron sheets and steel frames.

The mortuary chapel facade has some similarities with that found in Argao.


  1. estan,

    nice tribute for oslob church.
    we’ve added your informative blog to the cathedral museum blog.
    hurray for heritage!


  2. Pingback: » Is the prayer room in Oslob church formerly a mortuary chapel? Simbahan: Philippine Heritage Churches and Related Structures

  3. Carl, that’s interesting but I think there might be some truth to it but not fully sure. Anyway, if its true, it might be because of the salt as long as it is not exposed to the elements.

  4. Pingback: Death in Stone: Relieves of old cemeteries in Cebu | langyaw

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  6. although i was not born in that place, and my parents comes there, i find these interesting, hopefully you could add more on these, and this camposanto is very near to my parents’ house. as far as the pictures are concern, there was a huge changes since my last visit, i just like to ask a question, if the deads bury long time ago in camposanto is removed?

  7. andy, there’s a possibility that the old might have been removed. If its a public cemetery, plots are rented out for a specific number of years. Non renewal means eviction of the dead 🙂

  8. i was there in Oslob last Nov. 26, 2010, what caught my eyes are the structure built at perimeter fence just beside the house of my grandfather, ( nabawasan yung ganda ng view ng perimeter fence. ) it was not there 41 years ago.

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