Yesterday we visited Holy Cross Memorial Park to visit my mother-in-law's grave. It was her first death anniversary. She's buried in the family plot together with my father-inlaw, sister-in-law, and her own sister-in-law. They're the only Filipino family in what appears to us as the Chinatown of Holy Cross. All around them are the tombs with Chinese (-Filipino) names (which, for entertainment, I translate, so that they 'get to know the neighbors'). In front of the plot are a row of mausoleums built like condominiums. Some of us intend to return some time next week to clean the tombs and visit my father-in-law this time, as his death anniversary happens later this month.
Today, I drove my parents to the Chinese Cemetery, which is separated from Manila North Cemetery by a wall. Already, cars choked up the main entrance, as many families had decided to do their undas-duties as early as this week. The complex has gone to seed; I saw a 'caretaker family' living in one of the mausoleums near the one that houses my lolo's tomb (as well as my great-grandfather and a stillborn second uncle).
Already there's talk of moving the remains, as the fees charged by the cemetery are so steep, and the journey to the mausoleum, long and tedious--and that's on a good day, like this one. If it happens, the remains shall be moved to some family crypts at a church nearer our place--the same place where we moved our beloved dead from Bicol about a year ago.
Already I miss the beautiful metal grillwork, the circle entrance and dragons on top of the mausoleum in the Chinese cemetery.
The world is changing. Time is passing us by.