An American Cemetery in McKinley

“Don’t they have one?,” inquired a colleague after seeing a visitor-less cemetery known as the “Manila American Cemetery and Memorial”. They have Halloween but undas is uniquely Filipino. With Spanish-Mexican cultural elements sprinkled in.

The serene beauty of the American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila (actually, Taguig, or Makati, depends where your loyalty lies) taken just outside my office window.

It’s hard not to notice this beautifully designed and maintained cemetery. Whenever I look outside my office, it’s there. Surrounded by the towering buildings of the BGC and McKinley Hill.

How our heroic, glorious war dead feels about all these development? They’re dead yes, we’ll never hear their opinion about all these constructions but you know, I feel all the land development (like here in McKinley Hill) could have been made a little farther from the cemetery grounds.

Everything is being developed around this area. Land development knows no boundaries especially when there’s big money on the line. Looking around, I think 3-5 years from now, there will be more buildings and this cemetery would be totally obscured by soaring edifices.

I can’t wait to bring my brother (a genuine American history buff) to see this cemetery, the biggest outside their country. 17,000 war dead rest in this hilly part of Taguig (or Makati). The architecture is of interest to me. American’s sure knows how to design big and efficiently. My Spanish teacher, during a discussion about Spanish town planning in the last three centuries, conceded that Americans were more broad, wide, practical and effective in designing towns and spaces.

The cemetery is located in a plateau. It has 17,206 graves. Close to four thousand of which are marked unknown.

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