Pursuits

How Much Does it Cost to Die in Manila?

If life has its laundry list of expenses, apparently, so does the afterlife.
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Living in this modern world is as taxing as it can be. There are so many grueling little things to get done amid other duties and responsibilities that are largely at hand. So many things, so little time.

But have we ever thought about what happens when our time on earth runs out? We may have, we may have not, but there are many little things to consider on that end too. We might as well take a look at those little details too, so that when our time does run out, we can relax in eternal bliss, and not roll in our graves because the chosen casket isn’t to our liking.

Well, we did a little digging (pardon the pun) on some services and their respective price points. 

Manila Memorial Park

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Established in 1964, Manila Memorial Park is the “pioneer” of the memorial park concept in the metro. It was also the first to establish the crematorium setup that we know today. It continues to be the forerunner in the “business” of creating spaces that will appeal to the most discerning. For example, the Rizal Premier Chapel in the Sucat park (the only one in Metro Manila) boasts of “first-class materials and furnishings, coupled with attentive five-star hotel-like services.” It currently has six well-maintained locations.

Browsing through the “product” section on the website will show you three different products on offer: lawn lots, garden units, and family estates. As of writing, however, the Sucat park location’s burial grounds are full, but are available for resale. In an interview with a representative from the Sucat main office, resales of one burial lot (which holds two caskets or body vaults) can vary depending on the nearness of the lot to the gate. The nearer to the gate, the more expensive, and it can go as high as P200,000. Farther lots resell at around P150,000. The representative also shared that lots originally cost around P199,000.

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There are many columbarium niches (where the urns are placed) available, with different prices for eye-level rows, bottom rows, and top rows. The ones located at eye-level are the most expensive with a spot cash price of P124,655; a monthly installment option is available for a five-year period. One-time payments come with a five percent discount. Bottom row niches cost P114,763 while top row ones cost P76,542.

Cremation services cost P25,000, while urn prices can be determined upon office appointment, but it costs upwards of P3,000.

For more information, visit the official website for other details or inquire through 8.820.2392, 8.820.1577.

Arlington Memorial Chapels and Crematory

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Arlington was established in 1982 by Nestor Lopez Jose, who wanted to provide memorial services with the utmost care and compassion for the families of the bereaved. It’s no wonder that the company’s memorial services are very particular when it comes to details. From “miscellaneous” items such as flower arrangements, mass cards, and pamphlets, to more crucial matters such as embalming and cosmetics, and the service’s program, everything is carefully considered and managed by the well-trained staff—because you wouldn’t want the family to be hot-headed with all the arrangements. 

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Prices for burial packages depend on your "casket style." Each package is inclusive of the full memorial service.

Price range: P239,200 to P559,200 (for steel casket); P719,200 (solid copper casket imported from the U.S.); P 1,199,200 (Solid bronze casket imported from the U.S.); P2,399,200 (48-ounce brushed bronze casket with gold plated hardware)

The cremation packages are the “first of its kind” and have even garnered recognition from the National Funeral Directors Association, U.S., just in case that interests you.

Price range: P119,200 (square type urn, maple casket for viewing); P159,200 to P319,200 (vase type urn; different caskets options are available)

Visit the official website for complete details or inquire through 8.664.6983, 8.713.1111.

Loyola Memorial Park

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Loyola Memorial Park was established in 1969 in the service of Filipinos who have different needs and financial capacities. The company has six locations scattered around the metro: Guadalupe, Makati; Marikina City; Sucat, Paranaque; Commonwealth, Quezon City; Taytay, Rizal; and Tarlac City. All locations offer columbarium niches except Guadalupe.

Cremation services start at P150,000, inclusive of four days viewing and a presentation package. On the other hand, direct cremation—without the viewing—costs P70,000. A rented casket is used prior to cremation. (If you were wondering, aluminum urns are used.)

Funeral services are inclusive of pick-up, embalming, four days viewing, and use of the 35-seater chapel.

For more information, visit the official website for details or inquire through 9.895.1911 to 18.

Santuario de San Antonio Parish  

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This parish is probably home to most of Makati dwellers, and it’s right next to San Antonio Plaza. The columbarium of San Antonio Parish has long been one of the top-of-mind options for Manila’s prominent families.

There’s a columbarium area that has been there for decades, but in recent years, the management was able to put up a new columbarium that houses 1,400 niches. According to a representative from the administration, only 800 niches are left in this new wing (the old wing is totally full). One niche can fit four urns.

Price per niche: Row A (top row): P175,000; Row B: P250,000; Row C: P200,000; Row D: P150,000; Row E: P125,000

Just a heads up: price increases might be implemented as renovations are underway.  

No special memorial services are arranged by the parish, which means the family has to organize it itself. The chapel is available for wakes with a rental price of P9,000 to P10,000 per night, and one chapel can accommodate 50 people. For larger families, two chapels can simply be adjoined to accommodate 100 people.

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For more information, visit the official website or inquire through 8.843.8830 to 32, 35, 36 and 38.

Santa Maria della Strada Parish  

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The community parish of those living in the Katipunan area was established in  1981. Just within the church’s periphery is the columbarium dotted with lush plants and a centerpiece fountain—very picturesque.

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Based on T&C’s interview with a representative from the administration, the parish houses a total of 1,600 niches in the columbarium. The entire columbarium is practically sold out—only seven niches are available, according to the representative. One of its niches can fit around four to six urns, but it also depends on the size.

As with Santuario de San Antonio, Della Strada does not offer memorial services. For wakes, two chapels can be rented. The smaller one accommodates 50 people and costs P11,000 per night, while the larger one can fit around 70 people and costs P12,000 per night.

Price per niche: P150,000 (top row); P125,000 (middle and bottom rows)

If in the future, you do plan on snagging a spot in Della Strada, then you should know that the reservation fee is 20 percent of the niche price, which is valid for one month.

For more information, inquire through 8.929.7790.

Heritage Memorial Park

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This memorial park located in Fort Bonifacio prides itself on being “the country’s premier memorial service provider” due to its comprehensive list of services and top-grade facilities that were relatively modern during the time of its inception in 2001. Since then, the park upholds its reputation for being esteemed by those with discriminating tastes.

The sprawling grounds are marked by grand “estates” that make the entire area feel like an exclusive village. But aside from the lush surroundings (because the ambiance is important, right?), Heritage offers packages that are as well-manicured as its lawns.

To start, there are packages for memorial lots of different kinds, depending on your preference. Lawn lots are your standard-sized burial spaces, while garden lots are much larger and can fit up to 16 body vaults or caskets. Lastly, for those who want a little something extra for their family, there’s the largest lot of allThe Estate Lotwhich can fit up to 32 body vaults. Mausoleum, optional.   

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Price range: Lawn lot starts at P224,000; Garden lot starts at P2,224,000; Estate lot starts at P20,160,000  

Moving forward to the columbarium, which seems to be the go-to nowadays, the official website puts a spotlight on the floral-themed Aeternum Columbary described as a “lush haven”—and it certainly looks like one.

Price per niche (Spot cash prices): Row A/G: P150,720; Row B/F: P173,430; Row C/E: P195,990; Row D: P230,000

As for the wake packages, the standard is three nights at the chapel but there are also one-day options.

Wake price range: P165,000 to P400,000

For more information visit the official website or inquire through 8.938.6173.

Christ the King Parish

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Christ the King, or CTK, was established in the year 1979 and has been the go-to parish for inhabitants of that area. The parish houses a columbarium with 4,000 niches, according to a representative from the main office. Unfortunately, for those who might have been interested in a spot, the whole thing is sold out. If you were wondering though, here were the original prices per niche:

Price range: P60,000 (top row), P70,000 (bottom row), P80,000 (middle row)  

For more information visit the official website here.

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Nicole Cruz
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