Cemeteries and memorial parks will be closed on All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day to avoid the rush of people who traditionally visit their departed loved ones during these days.
All Saints’ Day is a solemn holiday commemorated every year on November 1 in honor of all the known and unknown saints of the Catholic Church.
All Souls’ Day on November 2 is a Catholic day of remembrance for the departed.
The Metro Manila Council, however, issued a resolution this week ordering the closure of cemeteries and memorial parks from October 29 to November 2.
“As for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, internment, cremation, and increment during this five-day period, the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Taskforce for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern,” read the resolution.
Earlier, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered the closure of the Manila North Cemetery, Manila South Cemetery, Manila Muslim Cemetery, as well as other public and private memorial parks, burial grounds, and columbaria in the city from October 23 to November 3.
Only “internment and cremation services for non-COVID 19 cases shall be allowed subject to the strict observance of minimum public health standards and social distancing.”
In the city of Cebu cemeteries will be open on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, but authorities said they might require those visiting to get vaccinated against COVID-19 first.
The city of Cebu has five major public cemeteries that are all owned and managed by the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The archdiocese proposed that public and private cemeteries will be allowed to open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the two-day observance, but only fully-vaccinated individuals and those who are 15 years old and above will be allowed to enter.
Millions of Filipinos visit cemeteries and memorial parks during these days, popularly known as Undas, to honor the dead, but the pandemic has affected the tradition since last year.