All Saints' Day

Even the dead can’t accept visitors for Undas 2020

Rambo Talabong
Even the dead can’t accept visitors for Undas 2020

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Alecs Ongcal

Manila City cemeteries are ordered closed during Undas

Even the dead won’t be allowed to accept visitors for Undas 2020 as Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday, September 7, ordered cemeteries to be placed on lockdown.

Through his Executive Order No. 38, Moreno ordered the closure of all public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria in the city of Manila from October 31 to November 3.

The dates coincide with All Saints’ Day (Undas) on November 1, and All Souls Day on November 2 – two holidays when Filipinos, who are mostly Catholic, visit the final resting place of their departed loved ones to remember them.

With the lockdowns scheduled, Moreno hopes that everyone who has relatives and friends in Manila cemeteries already prepare to observe their Undas at home to prevent the spread of the virus. (READ: Philippines observes ‘no-contact’ Ash Wednesday to beat virus)

Cemeteries, especially the public ones, are known to be overly packed during Undas, as Filipinos crowd over the tombstones of their relatives and friends and then stay the whole day, if not overnight.

This tradition, however, is a recipe for disaster given the coronavirus pandemic, as the virus is highly contagious.

Moreno said that the cemeteries will continue to be open until the scheduled lockdown, encouraging his constituents to visit early if they want to at least pay a visit ahead of the closures.

The Manila mayor said he will cancel the temporary closures if a vaccine arrives in the Philippines before Undas – an unlikely scenario. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.