Heroes' Cemetery, Manila, Philippines | CruiseBe
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Heroes' Cemetery

History and museums
cemetery, memorial

Heroes' Cemetery, also officially known as Libingan ng mga Bayani in Tagalog, is a national cemetery within Fort Bonifacio (formerly the American Fort William McKinley) in Western Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila in the Philippines.

It was established as a fitting resting place for Filipino military personnel from privates to generals, as well as heroes and martyrs. Among those buried in the cemetery are most of the defenders of May 1942, and the battlefields of the Allied Liberation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945 during World War II. It also contains the national Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is established as the Filipino counterpart to Manila American Cemetery and Memorial which houses the remains of United States personnel that died in World War II.

It was first established on May 1947 as the Republic Memorial Cemetery. It was then renamed to its current name on 27 October 1954 by President Ramon Magsaysay.

Philippine presidents Elpidio Quirino, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal, vice presidents Arturo Tolentino and Salvador H. Laurel, National Heroes and generals Artemio Ricarte and Carlos P. Romulo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes, and senator Blas Ople are also buried in the cemetery.

On the cemetery's entrance it is written: "I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death."

In 2006, the cemetery's council started exploring alternative sites for annexes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Only one has been completed so far, the P24-million, five-hectare extension at Camp Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo.


Interment policy

According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Regulation The Allocation of Cemetery Plots at the LNMB issued on 9 April 1986 by former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Fidel V. Ramos and President Corazon C. Aquino, along with members of the military, the following persons are entitled to be interred at Heroes' Cemetery:

  • Medal of Valor awardees
  • Presidents or Commanders-in-Chief, AFP
  • The secretaries of National Defense
  • AFP Chiefs of Staff, General/Flag Officers, active and retired military personnel, and former AFP members who laterally entered/joined the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
  • Veterans of the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the First and Second World Wars, as well as recognized guerrillas
  • Government dignitaries, statesmen, national artists and other deceased persons whose interment has been approved by the commander-in-chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense, and
  • Former Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense, widows of former Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense and Chiefs of Staff

However, those who were dishonorably separated, reverted, or discharged from the service, and those who were convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude cannot be buried at the cemetery.

National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines

Republic Act 289 or An Act Providing for the Construction of a National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes, and Patriots of the Country created the Board on National Pantheon. The law was enacted on 16 June 1948. However, such a pantheon has yet to be erected.

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