Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Even Undas is cancelled during the pandemic.
Several local governments have ordered closure of cemeteries during Undas season — from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, the usual days when huge crowds visit their dead in time for All Souls Day. Closure dates vary in different cities and provinces.
Some cities, such as in Marikina, will have regulated cemetery visits from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. Cemetery passes have to be secured starting Oct. 1.
According to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, an estimated 1.5 million people could visit the cemetery in a span of three days during All Souls Day.
This means that businesses related to Undas, such as flower shops will be affected, like in Dangwa, which usually experiences an increase in sales during holidays such as Valentines Day and Undas.
In Dangwa, flower vendors haven’t been seeing much sales through the quarantine. There are fewer people walking around the area in general. Most stalls are operational, although several others are noticeably closed or are deserted.
Many sellers have turned to dried plants and flowers because apparently they saw an increase in demand for these. More sellers are also offering ready-made flower arrangements.
In Manila North Cemetery, visitors entering the area need to have their temperature checked. The few visitors we chanced upon brought flowers and came in very small groups due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Several tombstones can be seen adorned with fresh flower arrangements and still-lit candles, which means that people have already taken the time to visit their dead before the closure.
Here’s a brief look at Dangwa and Manila North Cemetery, a few weeks before the temporary closure for Undas.