Friday, April 18, 2014

Following Balikbayans in the Chinese Cemetery

Minor street in Chinese Cemetery
Combination of rustic and oriental
I was asked by my friend Ibay to accompany her and a couple of her friends around Manila.  I was to serve as the navigator, though I think I was useless for that task. I said yes because the trip would take us around the old parts of Manila proper.  We were to go to Chinese Cemetery, Binondo and of course, Intramuros.  Our companions, husband and wife BJ and Arlene, balikbayans from Canada who swore they never have gone to these places, with the exception of San Agustin where they got married. I myself have not gone to the Chinese Cemetery so that in itself alone was worth my coming.
Dragon detail
The foo lions
Moon entrance
Anahao trees
We started the day late at 11 am.  But it was lucky that the sun was not scourging hot even though we reached the cemetery at noon. Ibay rented a van and the driver parked it at one of the inner streets. All four of us went down and walked from alley to alley not minding if we get lost.  BJ and Arlene was amused how Ibay and I woud exclaim how beautiful the oriental details were, considering it was indeed a cemetery.   But they got into the groove of it, contributing into the ghost stories and jokes we were exchanging, to lighten the mood. In the end they appreciated the color and rich ornamentation.
There was still space for a basketball court
Battery of foo lions
Dita at a distance
Mabolo tree at the background
I was of course looking around beyond the architecture.  I was scouting for old trees and was not disappointed.  Though there were the cemetery staples like acacia and kalachuchi, I found that there were an assortment of natives still standing around the memorial lots. Talisay (Terminalia catappa) abound, but mabolo (Diospyros blancoi), dita (Alstonia scholaris), hawili (Ficus septica), alagao (Premna odorata), anahao (Livistona) and bungang-jolo (Veitchi merrillii) are present in the alleys we went through. Not bad! 

Pergola at the semi lawn area
We finished in a short hour but walked an amazing 2.5 kilometers around the premises. And we till had half a ahead of us.  Will write about the rest of our trip in the following days to come.     
Tent structures without the fabric
Modern Chinese

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