The circular cemetery of Dumalag, Capiz

Facade of the entrance arch and gate with columns, finials and skull and cross bones bas relief

While on my way to take a photo of Dumalag Church in Capiz, I was able to pass by the beautiful camposanto or cemetery located at the south of the present church and along the highway. What made this a discovery was that, it is the third circular cemetery that I’ve seen, rather rare in the Philippines, bounded by a wall made from cut stone, an entrance gate with arch and a ruined chapel at the other end. Other circular cemeteries are Paco in Manila and Nagcarlan in Laguna.

Located at a plain and surrounded by rice fields, the structure was built by Fray Angel Abasalo, an Augustinian who served as the parish priest of the town from 1866-1881. He was also the one who constructed (or reconstructed) the current church. The entrance gate with arch, unfortunately is fronted by a waiting shed just a few feet that hinders a good view of the facade. The entrance is flanked by two columns, two finials atop this column and a pediment with a bas relief of a skull and crossbones at the center.

Inside, niches are built into the circular walls and a modern chapel at the center. At the opposite end of the gate is the original chapel, now in ruins. The facade is very simple topped with a triangular pediment. The walls and facade, by the way is coated with cement.


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