(TRIGGER WARNING: This story has potentially upsetting content. Readers should exercise caution.)

All of us are going to die. This is a reality that is rarely discussed, particularly in the Philippines, where conversations about death are still considered taboo.

But just like a birthday party or a wedding, death is a certain event in one’s life that needs intricate planning. This will allow you to literally die in peace without leaving your loved ones cash-strapped or worried about what to do with their earthly remains.

Palawan News lists some of the possible expenses you or your loved one may incur if someone passes away.

Preparation, casket, and wake
St. Peter Life Plans is one of the pioneer pre-need and pre-paid death care insurance companies in the country. It allows you to prepare ahead of your death by acquiring plans based on the casket you want to use. You may choose between wooden caskets that range from P43,000 to P60,000 and metal ones ranging from P80,000 to P120,000. This can be paid monthly in amounts ranging from P825 to P2,280 per month, depending on your contract or plan of choice.

The plan includes the preparation of the remains and public viewing in one of their chapels or any place of your choice for four days.

St. Peter also offers cash back and other insurance aside from the death care package.

If you or your loved one doesn’t have an outfit waiting in the closet to be used, clothing would cost you around P2,000 or more.

The city government, through the Abot-Kamay Program, offers free embalming and caskets for local residents who don’t have the means for commercial funeral services.

You just have to write a letter addressed to the City Mayor to avail of these services.

They also give refreshment packages, like coffee and biscuits, for the wake for free.

Depending on the type of refreshments and the number of guests expected to attend the wake, this would normally cost between P5,000 and P30,000.

Interment
Memorial lots in private cemeteries in the city range from P120, 000 to P130, 000. This includes excavation and interment; tombstone and interment ceremony needs such as tents and chairs; and staff services.

This may be available through packages and be paid on an installment basis.

In the City Public Cemetery, tombs would cost around P25, 000 to P30,000.

Maintenance of burial lots and tombs costs P200 to P500 per month.

Cremation
Since the establishment of a local crematorium in the city and the COVID-19 protocol that requires casualties to be cremated, people have become more open to the idea of cremation.

Cremation in the city would cost P50,000, with a discounted rate of P35,000 for senior citizens.

Instead of caskets, the ashes of the dead will be put in an urn that costs P2,500 to P17,000 with a premium ones priced at P100,000.

There are also packages for inurnment that cost between P124,000 and P135,000 and include cremation, an urn, a vault, and the service of inurnment.

The city government provides free cremation for those who die of diseases that require the dead to be cremated.

Depending on how, where, and when your loved ones plan to honor your remains, death may cost between P50,000 and P100,000, or between P200,000 and P500,000. Either way, death is costly, especially if families are not prepared.

So here are some tips you might want to consider.

  1. Start saving for a “Death Fund” – Most millennials save for a travel fund for their next travel destination. Why not save for your ultimate destination? Start by asking about plans that fit your current financial situation and setting aside some of your income for this.
  2. Plan ahead of time – Choose an outfit Your best photo to be displayed in the wake. The music will be played while you are laid to rest. Everything that you want to happen. Remember that you will not be there to demand what you want or don’t want at your wake or funeral.
  3. Make a “last will and testament” – A will isn’t just for millionaires in teleseryes where their families fight over who gets what. A well-planned and prepared last will will serve as a manual for how your “death plan” will be carried out.
  4. Inform your family and friends of your intentions – Come on. It’s 2022 and things like death should be discussed. The sooner the better.

There is no better way to die. But wouldn’t it be nice to know that you die leaving your loved ones’ memories and not debts, and be consoled that you will be at peace by following how you wanted to be memorialized as planned—worry and problem free

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