President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed hope that in remembering the saints and departed loved ones, Filipinos will be able to cope better and heal amid anguish and distress—especially after another storm tore through the country, leaving scores dead and thousands more needing aid.
In his message for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day or “Undas” in Filipino, Mr. Marcos said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to “come to terms with mortality.”
“It taught us to number our days as we realize the uncertainty of our time on Earth. It made us contemplate what it truly means to live a meaningful life and to die free of regrets and at peace with oneself,” he said on Sunday.
The President enjoined Filipinos to find lessons that will result in healing.
“As we gain momentum toward complete recovery, I pray that our efforts to remember the saints and our late loved ones will bring healing to our hearts. May it likewise reinforce the foundations of our faith and compel us to live with genuine love and compassion in all our days,” he said.
The country annually observes All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day every November 1 and 2, respectively. October 31 and November 1 are non-working holidays this year.
Meanwhile, the city government of Manila said it expects the number of visitors to double on All Saints’ Day after it halted entry to the Manila North and South cemeteries on Saturday due to severe tropical storm “Paeng.”
Roselle Castañeda, director of the Manila North Cemetery, said the inability of people to visit the cemeteries this weekend could translate to a higher volume of people here on Tuesday, All Saints’ Day.
Manila North Cemetery is the largest public cemetery in the Philippines.
The Bureau of Immigration, for its part, said it remains in full force for the influx of passengers who are traveling in and out of the country during the extended break for Undas.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said their frontline personnel remains on heightened alert.
“Our officers remain in full force to avoid service interruptions during this long Undas weekend. This is so our border security is not compromised amid passenger influx,” Tansingco said.