MANILA, NOVEMBER 4, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Julliane Love De Jesus - An estimated 7,500 people have gone to Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City to pay their respects to their dead on the annual All Saints’ Day, police said Friday.

As of 12 noon, Marikina police superintendent Antonio Cruz told INQUIRER.net that over 7,000 fave flocked to the Marikina cemetery.

In anticipation of the influx of visitors in Loyola, Senior Superintendent Reynaldo Jagmis said the Marikina police have deployed 71 of its personnel, augmented by 51 from the Eastern Police District to ensure security in the area.

“We embedded four police assistance desks to look over Loyola 24 hours. We also have policemen patrolling around the inside and outside of the cemetery,” he said.

The team leader of the Marikina security force said police were monitoring three other cemeteries in Marikina, in Barangka and Concepcion villages.

“As of this time, there were no incidents reported. All Saints’ Day here in Marikina was so far peaceful,” he said.

Marikina Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council supervisor for rescue operations Dennis Sevalla said in an interview also with INQUIRER.net that no injuries or accidents were recorded in Loyola.

He said they were expecting a larger crowd which would continue to increase until tomorrow, Saturday.

“Just very minor incidents (were reported) today, only a high blood patient,” he added.

Meanwhile, team leader for Marikina City Social Welfare and Development Office’s Lost and Found section Chona Juatas said only one was reported missing inside the cemetery.

A five-year-old boy from Binangonan, Rizal was lost on Thursday afternoon but the incident was immediately attended to by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Marikina.

The Loyola Memorial Park, in its advisory, reminded the public that bringing alcohol, gambling, and double parking were strictly prohibited within the cemetery premises.

It also advised those who would be using tents to dismantle them on or before November 4.

Some of the celebrities buried in the Loyola Memorial Park are “Master Rapper” Francis Magalona, actress Nida Blanca, newspaper founder Betty Go-Belmonte, actress Julie Vega, among others.

Millions honor the dead on All Saints’ Day in Philippines Agence France-Presse 12:19 pm | Friday, November 1st, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — Millions across the Catholic Philippines trooped to cemeteries to honor their dead in typically festive fashion on All Saints’ Day Friday, ignoring appeals from the Church to keep the day solemn.

Police in the capital Manila were on full alert, as their warnings for the public not to bring alcoholic beverages, loud portable stereos, knives and other deadly weapons to gravesites were largely ignored.

There was heavy security in sea- and airports as well as bus terminals, with many residents of major cities rushing to return home to their villages and provinces for “day of the dead” commemorations.

The Christian tradition dates back to the ancient practice in Rome, which honors all saints and martyrs who died for the faith. All Souls’ Day, the day after, is often when those wanting to avoid the crowds of All Saints’ Day visit the cemeteries to pay their respects.

While the day of the dead is supposed to be solemn, Filipinos use it to plan family gatherings at the tombs, where drinking and even open-air karaoke singing sessions are held.

“It’s like an annual family reunion to remember our departed ones,” said 34-year-old housewife Mary Jane Mendoza, who went to the packed Barangka public cemetery to visit the tomb of her baby, who died last year from pulmonary illness.
“We’ve packed enough for a picnic for the whole day,” she said, as she and her four other children struggled through a maze of narrow pathways.
Barangka is one of several large public cemeteries across Manila. Tens of thousands of people were expected to visit it Friday.
The final resting places there, as in other public cemeteries across Manila, are called “apartment-type tombs” and are stacked on top of one another, reaching several feet high.

Mendoza, whose daughter’s grave is on top, had to make the perilous climb up the structure just to light a candle and say a simple prayer.

The Catholic Church, meanwhile, put up a special website for the millions of Filipino workers abroad who could not come home to visit the graves of their dead.

Found at www.undasonline.com, the site is operated by the country’s bishops and allows those unable to make it home to offer special prayers for their deceased.

Visitors to the site simply have to list the names of their loved ones, and click a “prayer request” button.

Priests in Manila can then say a prayer on their behalf free of charge.

“When we celebrate the day of the dead, we also celebrate life,” said Marcelino Cabrera, a retired shop keeper whose clan erected a sprawling tent in another cemetery.

“We shall sing songs to them,” he said as he sipped gin from a white paper cup.

North Cemetery in Manila fills up for All Saints’ Day By Jamie Elona
INQUIRER.net 10:13 am | Friday, November 1st, 2013

People walk toward Manila north cemetery, which is one of Metro Manila’s oldest and largest cemeteries.JAMIE ELONA/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Families flocked to the North Cemetery in Manila Friday as the country observes All Saints’ Day.

The road leading to the cemetery coming from the Light Rail Train station in Blumentritt is now filed with people walking towards what is considered as Metro Manila’s oldest and largest cemetery,

Business for flower, food and candle vendors remains brisk, with prices of candles ranging from P5 to P30 and flowers at P25.

The weather in this part of Metro Manila is sunny.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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