CULTURE

IN PHOTOS: Dangwa and Manila North Cemetery ahead of Undas closure

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Here's a brief look at Dangwa and Manila North Cemetery ahead of the temporary closure for Undas. Photo by JL JAVIER

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.

Visitors get their temperature checked at the entrance of the Manila North Cemetery. Photo by JL JAVIER

Families are already visiting their dead before the closure of cemeteries from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. Photo by JL JAVIER

Vendors selling flowers and candles can also be found around the cemetery area. Photo by JL JAVIER

Several tombstones can be seen adorned with fresh flower arrangments and still-lit candles. Photo by JL JAVIER

In Dangwa, flower vendors haven’t been seeing much sales through the quarantine. Photo by JL JAVIER

New normal rules are also in place in Dangwa shops. Photo by JL JAVIER

Sellers are offering ready-made flower arrangements in Dangwa. Photo by JL JAVIER

Flower sellers have expressed their disappointment about the closure of cemeteries during Undas, as this will greatly affect their sales. Photo by JL JAVIER

Most stalls in Dangwa are operational, although several others are noticeably closed or are deserted. Photo by JL JAVIER

In Manila, it is estimated that 1.5 million people could visit the cemetery in a span of three days during Undas. Photo by JL JAVIER