An old saying goes that nothing can be certain except death and taxes, which are both components of a functioning society. However, talking about taxes is just natural while discussing death is considered taboo.
Yes, death is a very touchy subject. But now’s the time to change how you view it. If you keep on sidetracking this subject, it will only get stuck at the back of your mind. When that happens, you won’t be able to plan for it properly, thus leading to some problems that may disrupt your family should you pass away.
The best time to plan for your funeral is any time—except at the time of your wake, of course! So that you can plan things properly, you need to have an idea about the cost of a funeral in the Philippines.
We got you covered. Here are some of the things you may want to take note of.
Disclaimer: Prices stated in this article are just rough estimates. If you want to get specific prices, we recommend that you visit the website of your prospective provider or get in touch with its authorized representative.
Costs of Treating Terminal Illnesses
Usually, death is not a sudden event. Other times, it’s a gradual process that starts with a terminal disease. With that in mind, it would only be wise to start the cost calculation with the expenses that come with a terminal illness.
In the Philippines, the leading causes of mortality include heart disease, vascular disease, and cancer. But how much does dealing with these diseases cost?
- Diagnosis: PHP 111,400
- Treatment: PHP 1.1 million
A stroke happens when there’s a blockage in the blood vessel of the brain or when the said blood vessel ruptures, which then results in the reduction of blood supply flowing to the brain.
Acute Heart Attack-Related Costs
- Diagnosis: PHP 98,300
- Treatment: PHP 538,350
A heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, usually a build-up of fat or cholesterol build-up in the arteries.
Lung Cancer-Related Costs
- Diagnosis: PHP 183,650
- Treatment: PHP 1.6 million
Cancer occurs when cells divide uncontrollably. With lung cancer, it means that the cells in the lungs are dividing abnormally. There’s also a risk that the cancer cells may spread to other parts of the body.
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The Cost of a Funeral in the Philippines: Expense Breakdown
Funerals usually take from three to seven days. The longer a funeral is held, the more expensive it gets. The following funeral essentials are among the things that you can factor into the cost of dying in the Philippines.
Casket: PHP 3,000 - PHP 100,000+
Caskets are usually expensive, as they’re designed to weather different underwound conditions and properly protect the deceased person’s body. The price of a casket heavily depends on its material.
Wooden caskets may cost PHP 3,000 and up. The more expensive ones may be built using a special kind of wood. Metal caskets, on the other hand, may cost between PHP 17,000 and PHP 80,000.
But if you’re aiming for a higher-end casket, prepare to shell out at least PHP 100,000. Some caskets are expensive because they're constructed with imported metals and other materials.
Clothing: PHP 1,000 - PHP 3,000
You may also need to spend on the deceased person's clothing. The price will largely depend on the style and material of the clothes. For instance, barong gowns and shirts may cost anywhere between PHP 1,000 and PHP 3,000.
Memorial Chapel Rental: PHP 1,000 - PHP 10,000 per Night
While many wakes are held at home, some families prefer to have the ceremony at a memorial chapel, so they can easily accommodate more people. Some families who live quite far away may also choose this option to make the funeral much more accessible to relatives and friends.
Usually, the venue is included in the memorial package. Otherwise, you may shell out PHP 1,000 and up per night. If you’re planning to have the memorial service at a much bigger venue, you may find yourself paying between PHP 5,000 and PHP 10,000 per night.
Funeral Ceremony: PHP 8,000 - PHP 500,0000
Mortuary services are also included in the memorial package. But in case they’re not, you'll need to take care of a couple of things, such as the viewing set-up, flowers, and lamps.
Modest funeral ceremonies may cost from PHP 8,000 to PHP 15,000. Mid-range funeral services may set you back up to PHP 250,000. High-end mortuary service packages, on the other hand, may start around PHP 300,000 and reach up to PHP 500,000.
Food and Refreshments: PHP 5,000 - PHP 30,000
You'll have visitors coming to the wake, and a few of them may even stay the night. With that, you’ll need to offer them some food and drinks. Your budget for this will depend on the expected number of guests and the duration of the funeral.
It would be safe to set aside between PHP 5,000 to PHP 30,000 for this cost of a funeral in the Philippines. Of course, this will either go up or down, depending on the kind of refreshments you'll serve and how many times in a day you’re going to serve them.
Burial Cost in the Philippines
Burial costs typically revolve around these two factors: the memorial lot and burial-related services. Even in the end, you’ll still find yourself taking a sizeable amount of money out of your pocket. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if a memorial lot has already been purchased beforehand or the family has a mausoleum.
Memorial Lot: PHP 1,000 - PHP 10 million+
Apartment tombs may cost between PHP 1,000 and PHP 3,000. For the poorest of the poor, some charities and organizations may offer burial assistance.
Prices of private lots may reach up to PHP 100,000. More expensive options, such as a mausoleum, may have a starting price of PHP 1 million. Other upscale options, such as a garden or estate lot, may be priced beyond PHP 10 million.
Burial-Related Services: Up to PHP 50,000
These funeral services include transportation and security. You may prepare up to PHP 50,000 for this alone. Excavation of the lawn lot also comes with a price, which is usually between PHP 15,000 and PHP 40,000.
There are also miscellaneous expenses to take care of such as burial registration, which may cost between PHP 150 and PHP 500.
What is the Price of Cremation in the Philippines?
While cremation may be a much cheaper alternative than burial, it still comes with a hefty price tag. Prices of cremation in the Philippines start at around PHP 70,000 and may reach up to PHP 100,000.
When it comes to urns, you may find options online that are priced between PHP 2,500 and PHP 17,000. The cheaper ones are usually made of marble. If you want to honor your loved one in the grandest way possible, some urns are priced at PHP 100,000 and up.
On the other hand, a columbarium in the Philippines may be priced from PHP 20,000 to PHP 250,000.
4 Tips for Planning Your Funeral
Without a doubt, funerals can be expensive. But you can minimize the cost by planning ahead. If you do this, you’re reducing the burden your family will have to endure should you pass on. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
1. Estimate Your Funeral Costs
Since you’re already reading this guide to the cost of a funeral in the Philippines, you somehow have a rough estimate of how much your funeral should cost. You can start with a base price and work your way around it. For this to work, list all the things that you'll possibly need, from the casket to the lot.
Don’t feel pressured to take care of all these things in one go, unless you have the money. You can start ticking off one thing at a time. We recommend that you go for the basic ones first. For instance, your goals for this year may be to secure a lot and buy a casket. Then the following year, you can start thinking about the rest of the list.
2. Consider Getting a Memorial Plan
Pre-need funeral plans can help reduce the financial shock that your family may experience in case you pass away. For instance, St. Peter Life Plans packages cover memorial services and chapels. When you avail of this, your family member will have one less thing to worry about. Alongside this, consider bumping up your life insurance.
3. Share Your Plan with Your Family
Some people are embarrassed to bring up funeral preparations in a conversation. But it’s better to be transparent at this point, as your family may be able to help you out. Who knows, your mom may recommend a reliable memorial plan agent that offers affordable packages.
4. Write a Will
Writing a will is usually associated with rich families. However, it’s actually for anyone who wants to make sure that their affairs will be in order in case they pass away. It’ll also prevent confusion and conflicts among family members when it comes to taking care of your funeral or dividing your assets.
Death may be a touchy subject, and just hearing about it may make you anxious and uncomfortable. However, now’s the time to be more open about it since no one can live forever. When you’ve accepted this reality wholeheartedly, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for life.
Isn't it good to have everything prepared for when that time comes? The loved ones you'll leave behind won't have to worry about where to get money for your funeral and burial or cremation. This guide to the cost of a funeral in the Philippines should give you a head start on preparing financially for death-related expenses.
-  The real cost of serious illnesses in PH (Rappler)
-  Heart Attack (Mayo Clinic)
-  Caritas Manila Gives Out Free, Secondhand Coffins (Philstar.com)