One can easily get distracted by the expanse of sugarcane fields that spread at both sides of the highway in Murcia town. And if you’re not observant enough, you’ll not notice the crumbling heritage arch of Murcia cemetery at the edge of the field. It is located in between this expanse and about 650 meters from the town proper going to Bacolod City.
TheAugustinian Recollects founded the town and named it after a city in southeast Spain. A resort town at the foot of Mt. Kanlaon, it is known for its waterfalls and hot springs in Mambucal.
I have passed by Murcia cemetery several years ago and when I saw the state of the entrance arch, I vowed to visit. However, as I only pass this town whenever I travel between Cebu and Bacolod City, I never got the chance. Last November 2019 when I was in Bacolod City, I decided to finally visit. From the Libertad terminal I took a mini bus and alighted in front of the cemetery.
A visit to Murcia cemetery
The heritage arch of Murcia is the only Spanish colonial era structure existing in the cemetery. The structure is in such a bad state that you would think it can topple anytime. A cement support was placed under the arch when I inspected it. The sides have badly eroded, exposing the piedra bituca, the stone filling between walls. There are no signs of the stone perimeter fence.
Surprise! An art deco cemetery chapel
When I did venture inside to check if there was an existing chapel of the same period, there was none. But lo and behold, a beautiful art deco style chapel! Seeing it somehow alleviated the disappointment of the arch. Unfortunately, a portico was built at the facade marring the beauty of the structure.
There are no other interesting mausoleums here.