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ALBAY, Philippines – An annual tradition goes beyond visiting the graves of departed loved ones on All Saints‘ Day and All Souls‘ Day for several families in Albay. It extends to the unique practice of paying tribute to cherished pets and cetaceans at specialized cemeteries.
Harry Llaguno, the owner of the ecotourism destination FarmPlate, said devoted pet owners join in this tradition by lighting candles and holding vigil at the first pet cemetery in the province. This burial ground, situated behind the province’s smallest chapel within FarmPlate, houses the final resting places of 63 pets.
During the observance of Undas since 2021, families gather at the Tombstone Pet Cemetery, where they express their affection for their departed animal companions by lighting candles and offering floral tributes.
The pet cemetery, located in Barangay Gabawan, Daraga Albay, was opened to the public by the Llaguno family three years ago. For them, the care and respect shown to domesticated animals extend to their final resting place.
This intimate 260-square-meter space, known as the “Garden of Remembrance,” marks a unique and heartfelt way for people to remember their dogs and cats who have passed on.
It’s the first of its kind in Albay, and its inception dates back to April 23, 2021, when Llaguno established it in response to his daughter’s grief after the loss of her dog, Liki.
For marine mammals
Meanwhile, in Camarines Sur, another province in the Bicol region, an annual tradition with a conservationist touch has been taking place for over a decade now.
Environmentalists and employees of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) come together to honor the marine mammals.
The Philippines’ first cetacean cemetery, established in 2013, is nestled within the 15-hectare compound of BFAR in Barangay Fabrica, Bula town, Camarines Sur.
The unique cemetery is meticulously maintained by the Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team, a group dedicated to emergency rescue operations and post-mortem examinations of endangered marine species.
Presently, the cemetery serves as the resting place for fourteen sea mammals, including species like Risso’s dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins, spinner dolphins, striped dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins, Bryde’s whales, dwarf sperm whales, and melon-headed whales.
The cetacean cemetery’s purpose is to raise public awareness and promote the conservation of these endangered sea mammals, a matter of significant concern in the Bicol region due to its archipelagic location. – Rappler.com