“History lives with Campo Sancto de San Joaquin.”
For several times, I have visited San Joaquin, Iloilo. But I never got the chance to step on the Campo Sancto de San Joaquin. Luckily, I met good colleagues who are from the said town. I asked them to bring me to the mysterious and beautiful cemetery.
The Campo Sancto de San Joaquin or the cemetery of San Joaquin was built in 1982 following the orders of Fray Mariano Vamba, an Augustinian friar.
It is located along the main highway of San Joaquin, making it accessible for anyone who’d like to see the place. It sits on the top of a hill that overlooks the sea.
Though not fully pictured, the entrance to the cemetery is a Baroque- style gate with significant marks – statue of Jesus Christ in the center, two angels on the sides and a skull.
There are several statues and carvings found in the walls of San Joaquin’s cemetery. Examples of these statues are the image of Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Carvings in Campo Sancto de San Joaquin are represented by angels, flowers leaves and other ornaments. The cemetery is enclosed with stone walls. These walls create a strong foundation to the cemetery.
To reach the capilla of San Joaquin cemetery, I have to cross the twenty- steps stone staircase. My colleagues said that the staircase was built by the women of San Joaquin as a requirement to the Spanish authorities governing the town.
The main attraction of San Joaquin cemetery is the chapel. It is placed at the center just like other cemeteries built during the Spanish colonial period. The entire structure is made of coral stones and red bricks.
Inside is a small yet beautifully made sculpture replica of “La Pieta”. The chapel is where final blessings are given to the deceased before they are buried. The style of the chapel is identified as Baroque architecture with clear Oriental influences, similar to other historical churches in Iloilo.