A GARDEN ENCLOSED
The dead were usually buried in the morning, sometimes two or three at a time at the height of the beri-beri epidemic in the 1860s. "From a garden they departed and to a garden they went for eternal rest," Quesada wrote. The cemetery was the church patio, which, at that time was also a beautiful garden.
"The patio was surrounded by four high walls, in the middle of which stood a monument to the dead and at the base were the niches," Quesada said. "But by the time I was old enough to scale its walls, it was no longer used as a graveyard.
"Inside the walls were flowers and fruits of different varieties. The garden had a portion for pots planted with roses, another for flowering shrubs, and another for climbers. But what interested us, boys mostly were the fruit of the small trees which we would pick and eat, such as dayap, granada, guava, chico, lukban, macopa and dambo. In each of the four corners of the garden was a firetree (caballero), which flowered from May to July.
"Often the good padre threatened to shoot us with his shotgun loaded with table salt, but he never did it." Quesada continued. "The more he threatened us, the more we came to the place because we knew he was only joking. That cura was Padre Cipriano Ortiz, the last Franciscan pastor of Paete, a Spaniard well-liked by the people."
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