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'Ka-morgue:' Meet TikTok's resident embalsamador that answers your questions about life after death

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Sep 27, 2022 4:15 pm

Memento mori. Remember, you will die.

While that's not the first thing that anyone wants to remember when scrolling through TikTok, a certain Filipino embalsamador (embalmer) is making waves by sharing his know-how about the process of death.

Embalming is the process of preserving human remains to slow down the natural effects of deterioration after one dies, and while it's a grisly topic to discuss over your late-night doomscroll, licensed embalmer Ferdinand "Bong" Malagapo Jr. is here to answer any queries you may have.

Through his educational short clips, the 25-year-old provides straightforward answers to questions like why dead people don't smile, how he removes organs, to how he got the job to die for.

@kamorgue Replying to @nattlliaaa Patay na nakadilat! #embalmer #embalm #embalming #embalmerlife #mortician #morticianlife #morticiansoftiktok #morgue #formalin #bangkay #patay #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #fypage #fy #fyp #fypp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #viral #viralvideo #trend #trending #xyzbca #bongmalgapo ♬ Ylang Ylang - FKJ & ((( O )))

We can't say that all Bong's videos are safe for everyone, as his details can get morbid because of the general topic of death. Although he inserts a "Content Warning" tag whenever he decides to show something out of the ordinary.

Bong's videos go from parodies of GRWM showcasing him going to the morgue, explaining rigor mortis, to downright creepy stories he's experienced in nearly twenty years of being an embalmer. 

@kamorgue Replying to @scrappykuko Patay na gumalaw pa! #embalmer #embalm #embalming #mortician #morticianlife #morticiansoftiktok #funeral #funeraria #morgue #patay #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #fypage #fy #fyp #fypp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #viralvideo #viral #trend #trending #xyzbca #bongmalgapo ♬ Amityville Horror - Scary Halloween Sound Effects - Halloween Sound Effects

Bong also finds the time to make light of his job by using little things in the morgue to do TikTok trends. 

@kamorgue Sige sayaw 😁 #embalmingtable #embalmer #mortician #funeral #morgue #tiktokph #tiktokphilippines #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #fypage #fypageシ #fy #fyp #fypp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #viralvideo #viraltiktok #trend #trendy #trending #trendingvideo #xyzbca #docbongbong #bongmalgapo ♬ Sikok Bagi Duo - Dodi Ferdieansyah

Don't think that just because he deals with the morbid parts of life (or the afterlife), Bong isn't being paid well! In fact, the young embalmer has said that he makes up to four figures per head, and he embalms up to fifteen people in a month.

The entire process of preserving and preparing a body for a funeral also takes up to three hours of Bong's time.

"Kasi sa totoo lang po, kahit sabihing nasa Pinas tayo, kapag ka maayos yung punerarya, maganda magpasweldo, malaki po kinikita ng embalmer," he once shared regarding his fee.

In an early TikTok video, Bong shared that he underwent training in an accredited embalming school in Santa Cruz, Manila. He is also inspired by his uncle who had the same career track.

Recently, the young embalmer also introduced a YouTube channel wherein he posts vlogs and more long-form content about the profession. He currently has over 23,000 subscribers. Check it out here.