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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

REMEMBERING THE DEAD: UNKNOWN GROUP LEFT PHILIPPINE FLAGS FOR SAF 44 AT EDSA MONUMENT


OCTOBER 31 -Forty-four Philippine flags and a tarpaulin with photographs of the fallen SAF commandos are seen at the People Power Monument in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS
 As Filipinos prepared to remember their dead, an unidentified group left 44 small Philippine flags at the People Power Monument in Quezon City early yesterday, in memory of 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed by Muslim rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. Anne Levenia, caretaker of the monument, said a small group of men who declined to identify themselves left the 44 flags hoisted on wooden poles with stands representing each of the slain policemen and a black tarpaulin with photographs of the commandos. “In memory of our deceased EDSA heroes and our new heroes Fallen SAF 44,” reads the message printed in red, white and blue ink on the tarpaulin. Levenia said the group arrived at midnight Friday and left the flags and tarpaulin at the monument along EDSA near Camp Aguinaldo. The flags caught the curiosity of passersby and motorists early yesterday morning. The SAF commandos were part of a police anti-terror unit sent to Mamasapano to hunt down international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Barangay Tukanalipao. Marwan was killed in the operation but the 44 special police were killed during the encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups. Malacañang officials concerned over possible derailment of peace talks with the MILF were criticized for distancing themselves from the bungled operation that led to the death of the police commandos. THE FULL REPORT RELATED, Volunteers make trash beneficial for the living in the day of the dead as Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers recycle waste in cemeteries...

ALSO: Rainy 'All Saints’ Day in Luzon, Visayas


OCTOBER 31 -Traffic builds up at the South Luzon Expressway last night as motorists trooped to the provinces to visit their departed loved ones. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO
Residents in the eastern sections of Luzon and Visayas can expect rains while the rest of the country will generally have warm and humid weather on All Saints’ Day, the weather bureau said yesterday.
In its special weather outlook, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the eastern section of Luzon and eastern Visayas will have light to moderate rains beginning today until Tuesday due to strong easterly winds and the tail-end of a cold front. The rest of the country will have warm and humid weather condition, with chances of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening. No tropical cyclone is expected to enter or develop in the Philippine area of responsibility during the outlook period. PAGASA also warned fishermen and operators of small sea vessels against going out to the seaboards of Southern Luzon and Visayas due to big waves generated by the strong easterly wind that may reach as high as three to five meters. Moderate winds with moderate coastal waters will prevail over the rest of Luzon and Mindanao. DILG to LGUs: Ensure public safety Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento is calling on all local government units to keep tomorrow’s observance of All Saints’ Day safe for the public. In a directive, Sarmiento urged all local chief executives to convene their local peace and order councils to formulate contingency plans on public safety to prevent any untoward incident during the observance of All Saints’ Day, locally called “Undas.”  He also urged the local officials to mobilize and deploy law enforcers, barangay personnel and medical personnel in the vicinity of cemeteries. The Philippine Red Cross set up 310 first aid stations in various cemeteries, seaports, airports and bus terminals, and deployed 1,810 volunteers to give first aid in emergency incidents, PRC chairman Richard Gordon said. There are also Red Cross teams in 11 gasoline stations in major highways, including the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway. The public is also urged by lawmakers and the EcoWaste Coalition to avoid littering in the cemeteries and to clean up after their visit. EcoWaste Coalition said the yearly massive littering during Undas is a gross disrespect to the dead and nature. READ MORE...RELATED, Fair weather expected on All Saints’ Day all over the country...

ALSO in Tacloban: ‘Undas’ mixes celebration with sadness
[While many people in Manila's sprawling cemeteries treated the event like a giant picnic, in Tacloban, which is still suffering the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the mood was mournful and somber. Many of the mourners had to visit a mass grave where more than 2,400 bodies were interred after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged the city in November 2013. The city government has covered the mass grave with scores of small white crosses and families have taken to labelling the crosses with the names of their deceased loved ones.]


NOVEMBER 1 -A mother and her daughter brave heavy rains as they visit graveyard of their loved ones at the mass grave for victims of typhoon Haiyan, during the traditional visit to family graveyards in Tacloban City, Leyte province, central Philippines on November 1, 2015. Millions of the people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimage to their family gravesites on November 1, in a tradition that is part Catholic ritual and part love of festivity, and recent tragedies like super typhoon Haiyan are a sharp reminder of the constant danger to life in this disaster-plagued nation. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Millions of people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimages to family gravesites on Sunday in a tradition that combines fervent Catholic faith with the country’s penchant for festivity.The overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines has long celebrated All-Saints’ Day on November 1 as an occasion to gather at the graves of loved ones, to light candles and pray for their souls.While many people in Manila’s sprawling cemeteries treated the event like a giant picnic, in the central city of Tacloban, which is still suffering the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), the mood was mournful and somber.Many of the mourners had to visit a mass grave where more than 2,400 bodies were interred after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged the city in November 2013.The city government has covered the mass grave with scores of small white crosses and families have taken to labeling the crosses with the names of their deceased loved ones.Rebecca Gonzales Daa, 56, was one of the many who brought flowers and candles to the mass gravesite for her late husband, Raul, one of more than 7,350 people left dead or missing by the storm’s tsunami-like waves.READ MORE...RELATED,
Residents brave heavy rains as they visit graveyards of their loved ones at a mass grave for victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City, Leyte on November 1, 2015...

ALSO: Gov't urged to declare November 2 a holiday


NOVEMBER 1 -A girl holding a flower walks on top of tombs that are placed on top of each other inside Manila North Cemetery,on Sunday Nov. 1, 2015. AP/Aaron Favila
A ranking member of the Catholic Church in the Philippines said the government’s decision to declare only November 1 as a non-working holiday sends a "wrong message." 
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo reminded the Catholics that the appropriate day for remembering the dead is on All Souls' Day, November 2. Quevedo urged the priests to inform their parishioners that they are following the wrong tradition as most Catholics prefer visiting departed loved ones on All Saints’ Day or November 1. "What is happening is that, many Filipinos and dioceses have emphasized All Saints' Day as the time of blessing the dead and blessing the grave. I think that's a wrong one," Quevedo said over Radio Veritas. "I would think that the time to travel to the province would be November 1 and the actual honoring is November 2 and the time to return would be November 3," he added. The bishops also asked the public to maintain a meaningful celebration of the Catholic tradition "Undas" that cares not also the dead but also the environment by not turning grave sites into picnic spots. READ MORE...

ALSO: Nov. 2 proper day for remembering the dead


OCTOBER 31 - -HURT RUNS DEEP A resident mourns for a dead relative at a mass grave for victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) in Tacloban City in Leyte on Saturday. AFP Photo
CARDINAL Orlando Quevedo has reminded the Catholic faithful that the appropriate day for remembering the dead is on Nov. 2, or All Souls’ Day. Cardinal Orlando Quevedo said priests must emphasize this to their parishioners since most Catholics prefer visiting their deceased loved ones on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day.“What is happening is that, we many Filipinos and dioceses have emphasized All Saints’ Day as the time of blessing the dead and blessing the grave. I think that’s a wrong one,” Quevedo said over Radio Veritas.‘Wrong message’ He lamented that even the government recognizes only Nov. 1 as a non-working holiday which further sends a “wrong message” to the faithful. “I would think that the time to travel to the province would be Nov. 1 and the actual honoring is Nov. 2 and the time to return would be Nov. 3,” added Quevedo. The bishops earlier appealed for a meaningful celebration of the Catholic tradition referred to by Filipinos as “Undas” that cares not only for the dead, but also for the environment. Not a picnic Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga (Bataan) also called on Filipinos not to turn grave sites into picnic spots.“We go to cemeteries to remember them and their good deeds, not for picnic, not for reunion,” Santos said.Quevedo also called on the faithful to pray not only for the the souls of departed loved ones but more importantly for the repose of the souls in purgatory. “Some of our beloved have passed away they are to be prayed for….but there is a theological doctrine of what we call ‘communion of saints.’ Saints in heaven, saints on earth, those who are church militant, church suffering,” explained Quevedo. “Whether purgatory or elsewhere of those who passed away and we are in solidarity with them when we pray for them and asks our saints to pray for them. Let us remember that when we honor the dead,” he added. THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Thousands flock at Manila North, South cemeteries on All Saints’ Day


NOVEMBER 1 -Thousands Filipinos crowd the Manila North Cemetery to give respect to their departed loved ones yesterday , in observance of the All Saints' Day. (JOHN JEROME GANZON)
Tens of thousands have endured the heat, the threatening dark clouds, and the jam-packed streets in and outside of the Manila North Cemetery in Sta. Cruz, Manila and Manila South Cemetery in Makati Sunday to visit the graves of their departed loved ones as the rest of the country also remember the dead in time for All Saints’ Day.
As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the Manila Police District (MPD) crowd estimate at the Manila North Cemetery have reached 1.6 million already as the influx of people only gets bigger by the moment. Authorities will be on full alert until Monday, November 2. Police said around 2 million people are expected to visit the graves this year in Manila North and some 500,000 are expected to flock in the Manila South Cemetery. In Manila South Cemetery, officials said around 13,000 people have visited as of 10 a.m. Sunday while 10,000 visitors were recorded in Manila North Green Park as of 12 noon. But as the crowd gets thicker, authorities have also gone more strict in implementing the rules of the cemetery. Since Saturday morning, authorities in the Manila North Cemetery have already confiscated around 200 alcoholic beverages, flammable materials, gardening materials, and other sharp objects despite the constant reminder that these items are strictly prohibited inside the cemetery. Aside from those, guns, sound system, and gambling items like playing cards, are also prohibited inside the cemetery. Visitors were also advised to bring their own garbage bags.THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO Times editorial: Communion of Saints
[We are also in communion with all the souls who are still in Purgatory. Our prayers for them help shorten the length of their period of suffering while being purified to become saints.]


OCTOBER 31 -TODAY and every November 1 in the Roman Catholic Church it is All Saints Day (formally in the liturgy the “Solemnity of All Saints.”). Tomorrow is All Souls Day or, formally, the “Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed.” The two observances are joyful occasions that remind us of the Communion of Saints.No. 946 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The communion of saints is the Church.” The many entries on the subject of the communion of saints is summarized by the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as follows:“This expression indicates first of all the common sharing of all the members of the Church in holy things (sancta): the faith, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the charisms, and the other spiritual gifts. This expression also refers to the communion between holy persons (sancti); that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ. Some are pilgrims on the earth; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us. All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity. (Compendium of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, 194 and 195).We Christians who are still living, and are united by grace to our Lord Jesus Christ, are “pilgrims on the earth” on a journey to heaven. We are helped on this journey by the prayers and intercession of the canonized saints–Our Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Josemaria, St. Francis, St. Ignatius, and other known saints and publicly proclaimed blessed. But we are also being helped by the prayers of those holy men, women and children who are not canonized saints but are saints just the same and are already enjoying eternal bliss in heaven. These may in fact be our own departed loved ones who have become saints after purification in Purgatory or, unbeknown to us, went straight to heaven from their deathbeds because of their and our prayers and because they had silently, cheerfully, become other Christs while they were still among us. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Who left Philippine flags for SAF 44 at People Power Monument?


Forty-four Philippine flags and a tarpaulin with photographs of the fallen SAF commandos are seen at the People Power Monument in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, NOVEMBER 2, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Jaime Laude Updated October 31, 2015 - As Filipinos prepared to remember their dead, an unidentified group left 44 small Philippine flags at the People Power Monument in Quezon City early yesterday, in memory of 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed by Muslim rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.

Anne Levenia, caretaker of the monument, said a small group of men who declined to identify themselves left the 44 flags hoisted on wooden poles with stands representing each of the slain policemen and a black tarpaulin with photographs of the commandos.

“In memory of our deceased EDSA heroes and our new heroes Fallen SAF 44,” reads the message printed in red, white and blue ink on the tarpaulin.

Levenia said the group arrived at midnight Friday and left the flags and tarpaulin at the monument along EDSA near Camp Aguinaldo.

The flags caught the curiosity of passersby and motorists early yesterday morning.

The SAF commandos were part of a police anti-terror unit sent to Mamasapano to hunt down international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Barangay Tukanalipao.

Marwan was killed in the operation but the 44 special police were killed during the encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups.

Malacañang officials concerned over possible derailment of peace talks with the MILF were criticized for distancing themselves from the bungled operation that led to the death of the police commandos.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Volunteers make trash beneficial for the living in the day of the dead SHARES: 13 VIEW COMMENTS By: Aries Joseph Hegina @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 06:06 PM November 1st, 2015


Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers recycle waste in cemeteries

Clad in a gray shirt and white pants, some volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation mill around the throngs of people trooping to the Manila North Cemetery on Sunday to pick up recyclable waste.

The foundation set up seven stations across the 54-hectare cemetery where they gather recyclable waste like used paper, plastic bottles, plastic and cartons sourced from donations from visitors or trash left on the streets.

There were 140 volunteers deployed in the area to pick up waste. Angie Villanueva, Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer coordinator assigned to the Manila North Cemetery, told INQUIRER.net that the proceeds of their environmental protection program will fund medical and relief services conducted by their foundation.

“The proceeds from these recyclable wastes will go to the foundation’s charity program. The charity program composed of medical missions, eye check-ups and even the distribution of free dentures,” Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, Villanueva said that aside from raising funds, they are also seeking to educate people to dispose their trash properly and to use recyclable materials. She said that for the past three years that she was stationed at the cemetery, the amount of trash they obtained decreased. And they are happy with the trend.

“As time goes by, people are realizing that we are not just here to get funds for our charity but more importantly, we are here to educate them on what to do with the trash they brought to the cemetery,” Villanueva said.

Aside from the Manila North, the foundation has set up similar stations in eight other cemeteries across Metro Manila, including La Loma, Holy Cross and Manila South cemeteries.


PHILSTAR

Rainy All Saints’ Day in Luzon, Visayas By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 31, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Traffic builds up at the South Luzon Expressway last night as motorists trooped to the provinces to visit their departed loved ones. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO


MANILA, Philippines - Residents in the eastern sections of Luzon and Visayas can expect rains while the rest of the country will generally have warm and humid weather on All Saints’ Day, the weather bureau said yesterday.

In its special weather outlook, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the eastern section of Luzon and eastern Visayas will have light to moderate rains beginning today until Tuesday due to strong easterly winds and the tail-end of a cold front.

The rest of the country will have warm and humid weather condition, with chances of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.

No tropical cyclone is expected to enter or develop in the Philippine area of responsibility during the outlook period.

PAGASA also warned fishermen and operators of small sea vessels against going out to the seaboards of Southern Luzon and Visayas due to big waves generated by the strong easterly wind that may reach as high as three to five meters.

Moderate winds with moderate coastal waters will prevail over the rest of Luzon and Mindanao.

DILG to LGUs: Ensure public safety Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento is calling on all local government units to keep tomorrow’s observance of All Saints’ Day safe for the public.

In a directive, Sarmiento urged all local chief executives to convene their local peace and order councils to formulate contingency plans on public safety to prevent any untoward incident during the observance of All Saints’ Day, locally called “Undas.”

He also urged the local officials to mobilize and deploy law enforcers, barangay personnel and medical personnel in the vicinity of cemeteries.

The Philippine Red Cross set up 310 first aid stations in various cemeteries, seaports, airports and bus terminals, and deployed 1,810 volunteers to give first aid in emergency incidents, PRC chairman Richard Gordon said.

There are also Red Cross teams in 11 gasoline stations in major highways, including the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway.

The public is also urged by lawmakers and the EcoWaste Coalition to avoid littering in the cemeteries and to clean up after their visit.

EcoWaste Coalition said the yearly massive littering during Undas is a gross disrespect to the dead and nature.

READ MORE...

Christina Vergara of EcoWaste also advised the public to offer local fresh flowers, not plastic ones and avoid wrapping them in plastic, which will only end up as trash.

CBCP: All Souls’ correct day for the dead Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday reminded the Filipino faithful that Undas is not a time for picnics, and that Nov. 2, All Souls’ Day, is the correct day to pay respect to the departed, not Nov. 1.

Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said that several dioceses reportedly taught that All Saints’ Day is the time of blessing the dead and blessing the graves. “But I think that’s a wrong one and a wrong message to give.”

“The time to travel to the province would be Nov. 1 and the actual honoring is Nov. 2 and the time to return would be Nov. 3,” he said. – With Mayen Jaymalin, Paolo Romero, Mike Frialde, Evelyn Macairan, Rhodina Villanueva

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Fair weather expected on All Saints’ Day By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 1, 2015 - 11:28am 1 7 googleplus0 0


Thousands Filipinos crowd the Manila North Cemetery to give respect to their departed loved ones yesterday , in observance of the All Saints' Day. (JOHN JEROME GANZON)

 State weather bureau PAGASA on Sunday said fair weather is expected to prevail over the country on All Saints' Day as there are no weather disturbances foreseen.

PAGASA that although the country may experience fair weather on Sunday, the public must also be reminded to bring umbrellas before going to cemeteries brief rain showers may still occur.

PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said in a state news report that cloudy with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are likely to affect Eastern and Central Visayas, Bicol Region, Caraga and the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora and Quezon.

Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, meanwhile, may have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains, Aurelio said.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will also experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms, he said.

Aurelio noted that there is no low-pressure area or weather disturbance foreseen within the Philippine area of responsibility until Wednesday.

Northen Luzon will have moderate to strong winds from the northeast and its coastal waters will be moderate to rough while light to moderate winds coming from the east to northeast with slight to moderate seas will prevail over the rest of the country.

PAGASA also issued a gale warning due to the effects of the northeast monsoon as the sea condition would be rough to very rough brought by its strong to gale force winds expected to affect the northern and western seaboards of northern Luzon.

"Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves," PAGASA advisory said.


INQUIRER

‘Undas’ mixes celebration with sadness @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse 03:25 PM November 1st, 2015


A mother and her daughter brave heavy rains as they visit graveyard of their loved ones at the mass grave for victims of typhoon Haiyan, during the traditional visit to family graveyards in Tacloban City, Leyte province, central Philippines on November 1, 2015. Millions of the people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimage to their family gravesites on November 1, in a tradition that is part Catholic ritual and part love of festivity, and recent tragedies like super typhoon Haiyan are a sharp reminder of the constant danger to life in this disaster-plagued nation. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Millions of people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimages to family gravesites on Sunday in a tradition that combines fervent Catholic faith with the country’s penchant for festivity.

The overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines has long celebrated All-Saints’ Day on November 1 as an occasion to gather at the graves of loved ones, to light candles and pray for their souls.

While many people in Manila’s sprawling cemeteries treated the event like a giant picnic, in the central city of Tacloban, which is still suffering the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), the mood was mournful and somber.

Many of the mourners had to visit a mass grave where more than 2,400 bodies were interred after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged the city in November 2013.

The city government has covered the mass grave with scores of small white crosses and families have taken to labeling the crosses with the names of their deceased loved ones.

Rebecca Gonzales Daa, 56, was one of the many who brought flowers and candles to the mass gravesite for her late husband, Raul, one of more than 7,350 people left dead or missing by the storm’s tsunami-like waves.

READ MORE...

“We had evacuated, my mother and other siblings fled to my uncle’s apartment but my husband went home. He was worried about our pigs and our belongings,” she recalled tearfully.

“We found his body with a large wound on his head later. He must have been hit by a piece of floating debris,” she told AFP.
In the aftermath of the disaster, with piles of bodies lining the streets and funeral parlors destroyed, Tacloban authorities resorted to burying the dead together.

“We used to visit the graves of my father, my brother on All-Saints’ Day. I would bring snacks. It wasn’t so sad because I would see my family. It was like a reunion,” Daa recalled.

“Now, it is a sad occasion. I tell (my husband), we are left alone with no one to watch over us,” she said.
Ricka Joy Quisay, 17, lit candles in front of the Tacloban cemetery because she isn’t even sure her mother is in the mass grave.

Quisay fled to an evacuation center before the storm struck but her mother, Rebecca, 59, did not believe Yolanda would be that strong.

“The next day, we saw her body just placed alongside the road. It lay there for two weeks till it got bloated and was finally carried away by a truck,” she said.

“Before, All-Saints’ Day wasn’t sad. My mother would light candles in front of our house. But now, my mother is the one we are lighting candles for,” she said.

Pot-luck at the graveyard

The mood in Manila, which was spared the worst of Haiyan’s fury, was more light-hearted. City officials even had to ban loudspeakers, loud radios and even decks of cards from cemeteries to maintain a modicum of solemnity.

Housewife Alidia Cecilia, 72, said she came to the cemetery every year because it was a chance for her extended family to bond together.

A huge tree gives a welcome shade over her family’s cemetery plot and many of the country’s fast food franchises have established booths to feed her hungry grandkids.

Retired accountant Rely Reyes 61, said she comes not just to visit the graves of her relatives, “but also to commune with the living.”

“This is a chance to see all the members of my family. It is all a pot-luck gathering. The family understands we all need to bring something to be shared. That is the Filipino way,” she said.

Teenage visitors at her plot chatted animatedly while nibbling on snacks, casually using the huge stone tomb as a bench.

“We all pay our respects in our own way. We maintain the continuity among the generations,” she told AFP.

RELATED STORIES
‘Undas’ a difficult time for ‘desaparecidos’ kin

Bishops appeal for solemn observance of ‘Undas

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Filipinos’ annual graveyard gatherings mix celebration with sadness November 1, 2015 2:56pm Tags: undas, undas2015, allsaintsday, typhoonyolanda


Residents brave heavy rains as they visit graveyards of their loved ones at a mass grave for victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City, Leyte on November 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Ted Aljibe

TACLOBAN - Millions of people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimages to family gravesites on Sunday in a tradition that combines fervent Catholic faith with the country's penchant for festivity.

The overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines has long celebrated All-Saints' Day on November 1 as an occasion to gather at the graves of loved ones, to light candles and pray for their souls.

While many people in Manila's sprawling cemeteries treated the event like a giant picnic, in Tacloban, which is still suffering the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the mood was mournful and somber.

Many of the mourners had to visit a mass grave where more than 2,400 bodies were interred after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged the city in November 2013.

The city government has covered the mass grave with scores of small white crosses and families have taken to labelling the crosses with the names of their deceased loved ones.

Rebecca Gonzales Daa, 56, was one of the many who brought flowers and candles to the mass gravesite for her late husband, Raul, one of more than 7,350 people left dead or missing by the storm's tsunami-like waves.

"We had evacuated, my mother and other siblings fled to my uncle's apartment but my husband went home. He was worried about our pigs and our belongings," she recalled tearfully.

"We found his body with a large wound on his head later. He must have been hit by a piece of floating debris," she told AFP.

In the aftermath of the disaster, with piles of bodies lining the streets and funeral parlors destroyed, Tacloban authorities resorted to burying the dead together.

"We used to visit the graves of my father, my brother on All-Saints' Day. I would bring snacks. It wasn't so sad because I would see my family. It was like a reunion," Daa recalled.

"Now, it is a sad occasion. I tell [my husband], we are left alone with no one to watch over us," she said.

Ricka Joy Quisay, 17, lit candles in front of the Tacloban cemetery because she isn’t even sure her mother is in the mass grave.

Quisay fled to an evacuation center before the storm struck but her mother, Rebecca, 59, did not believe Yolanda would be that strong.

"The next day, we saw her body just placed alongside the road. It lay there for two weeks till it got bloated and was finally carried away by a truck," she said.

"Before, All Saints' Day wasn't sad. My mother would light candles in front of our house. But now, my mother is the one we are lighting candles for," she said.

Pot-luck at the graveyard

The mood in Manila, which was spared the worst of Yolanda's fury, was more light-hearted. City officials even had to ban loudspeakers, loud radios and even decks of cards from cemeteries to maintain a modicum of solemnity.

Housewife Alidia Cecilia, 72, said she came to the cemetery every year because it was a chance for her extended family to bond together.

A huge tree gives a welcome shade over her family's cemetery plot and many of the country's fast food franchises have established booths to feed her hungry grandkids.

Retired accountant Rely Reyes 61, said she comes not just to visit the graves of her relatives, "but also to commune with the living."

"This is a chance to see all the members of my family. It is all a pot-luck gathering. The family understands we all need to bring something to be shared. That is the Filipino way," she said.

Teenage visitors at her plot chatted animatedly while nibbling on snacks, casually using the huge stone tomb as a bench.

"We all pay our respects in our own way. We maintain the continuity among the generations," she told AFP. — Agence France-Presse


PHILSTAR

Gov't urged to declare November 2 a holiday By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 1, 2015 - 5:11pm 29 242 googleplus0 0


A girl holding a flower walks on top of tombs that are placed on top of each other inside Manila North Cemetery,on Sunday Nov. 1, 2015. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — A ranking member of the Catholic Church in the Philippines said the government’s decision to declare only November 1 as a non-working holiday sends a "wrong message."

Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo reminded the Catholics that the appropriate day for remembering the dead is on All Souls' Day, November 2.

Quevedo urged the priests to inform their parishioners that they are following the wrong tradition as most Catholics prefer visiting departed loved ones on All Saints’ Day or November 1.

"What is happening is that, many Filipinos and dioceses have emphasized All Saints' Day as the time of blessing the dead and blessing the grave. I think that's a wrong one," Quevedo said over Radio Veritas.

"I would think that the time to travel to the province would be November 1 and the actual honoring is November 2 and the time to return would be November 3," he added.

The bishops also asked the public to maintain a meaningful celebration of the Catholic tradition "Undas" that cares not also the dead but also the environment by not turning grave sites into picnic spots.

READ MORE...

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, meanwhile, also reminded Catholics to know the essence of visited their dearly beloved.

"We go to cemeteries to remember them and their good deeds, not for picnic, not for reunion," Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said.

Quevedo reminded the faithful of the importance of prayers and urged them to pray not only for souls of their deceased loved ones but also for the eternal repose of the souls in purgatory.

"Whether purgatory or elsewhere of those who passed away and we are in solidarity with them when we pray for them and asks our saints to pray for them. Let us remember that when we honor the dead," Quevedo said.


MANILA TIMES

Nov. 2 proper day for remembering the dead October 31, 2015 10:07 pm


HURT RUNS DEEP A resident mourns for a dead relative at a mass grave for victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) in Tacloban City in Leyte on Saturday. AFP Photo

CARDINAL Orlando Quevedo has reminded the Catholic faithful that the appropriate day for remembering the dead is on Nov. 2, or All Souls’ Day.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo said priests must emphasize this to their parishioners since most Catholics prefer visiting their deceased loved ones on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day.

“What is happening is that, we many Filipinos and dioceses have emphasized All Saints’ Day as the time of blessing the dead and blessing the grave. I think that’s a wrong one,” Quevedo said over Radio Veritas.

‘Wrong message’


He lamented that even the government recognizes only Nov. 1 as a non-working holiday which further sends a “wrong message” to the faithful.



“I would think that the time to travel to the province would be Nov. 1 and the actual honoring is Nov. 2 and the time to return would be Nov. 3,” added Quevedo.

The bishops earlier appealed for a meaningful celebration of the Catholic tradition referred to by Filipinos as “Undas” that cares not only for the dead, but also for the environment.

Not a picnic

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga (Bataan) also called on Filipinos not to turn grave sites into picnic spots.

“We go to cemeteries to remember them and their good deeds, not for picnic, not for reunion,” Santos said.

Quevedo also called on the faithful to pray not only for the the souls of departed loved ones but more importantly for the repose of the souls in purgatory.

“Some of our beloved have passed away they are to be prayed for….but there is a theological doctrine of what we call ‘communion of saints.’ Saints in heaven, saints on earth, those who are church militant, church suffering,” explained Quevedo.

“Whether purgatory or elsewhere of those who passed away and we are in solidarity with them when we pray for them and asks our saints to pray for them. Let us remember that when we honor the dead,” he added.


MANILA BULLETIN

Thousands flock at Manila North, South cemeteries on All Saints’ Day
By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos  November 1, 2015  Share0 Tweet7 Share0 Email0 Share28


Thousands Filipinos crowd the Manila North Cemetery to give respect to their departed loved ones yesterday (October 31)  , in observance of the All Saints' Day. (JOHN JEROME GANZON)

Tens of thousands have endured the heat, the threatening dark clouds, and the jam-packed streets in and outside of the Manila North Cemetery in Sta. Cruz, Manila and Manila South Cemetery in Makati Sunday to visit the graves of their departed loved ones as the rest of the country also remember the dead in time for All Saints’ Day.

As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the Manila Police District (MPD) crowd estimate at the Manila North Cemetery have reached 1.6 million already as the influx of people only gets bigger by the moment.

Authorities will be on full alert until Monday, November 2.

Police said around 2 million people are expected to visit the graves this year in Manila North and some 500,000 are expected to flock in the Manila South Cemetery.


Thousands Filipinos crowd the Manila North Cemetery to give respect to their departed loved ones yesterday , in observance of the All Saints’ Day. (JOHN JEROME GANZON)

In Manila South Cemetery, officials said around 13,000 people have visited as of 10 a.m. Sunday while 10,000 visitors were recorded in Manila North Green Park as of 12 noon.

But as the crowd gets thicker, authorities have also gone more strict in implementing the rules of the cemetery.

Since Saturday morning, authorities in the Manila North Cemetery have already confiscated around 200 alcoholic beverages, flammable materials, gardening materials, and other sharp objects despite the constant reminder that these items are strictly prohibited inside the cemetery.

Aside from those, guns, sound system, and gambling items like playing cards, are also prohibited inside the cemetery. Visitors were also advised to bring their own garbage bags.


MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL

Communion of Saints October 31, 2015 10:26 pm

TODAY and every November 1 in the Roman Catholic Church it is All Saints Day (formally in the liturgy the “Solemnity of All Saints.”). Tomorrow is All Souls Day or, formally, the “Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed.”

The two observances are joyful occasions that remind us of the Communion of Saints.

No. 946 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The communion of saints is the Church.”

The many entries on the subject of the communion of saints is summarized by the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as follows:

“This expression indicates first of all the common sharing of all the members of the Church in holy things (sancta): the faith, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the charisms, and the other spiritual gifts. This expression also refers to the communion between holy persons (sancti); that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ.

Some are pilgrims on the earth; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us.

 All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity. (Compendium of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, 194 and 195).

We Christians who are still living, and are united by grace to our Lord Jesus Christ, are “pilgrims on the earth” on a journey to heaven. We are helped on this journey by the prayers and intercession of the canonized saints–Our Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Josemaria, St. Francis, St. Ignatius, and other known saints and publicly proclaimed blessed.

But we are also being helped by the prayers of those holy men, women and children who are not canonized saints but are saints just the same and are already enjoying eternal bliss in heaven. These may in fact be our own departed loved ones who have become saints after purification in Purgatory or, unbeknown to us, went straight to heaven from their deathbeds because of their and our prayers and because they had silently, cheerfully, become other Christs while they were still among us.

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We are also in communion with all the souls who are still in Purgatory. Our prayers for them help shorten the length of their period of suffering while being purified to become saints.

Blood transfusion for the soul

In No. 544 of The Way, St. Josemaria Escriva tells us of the Communion of Saints. “How shall I explain it? You know what blood-transfusions do for the body? Well that is more or less what the Communion of Saints does for the soul.”

And in No. 545 of The Way he tells: “Live a special Communion of Saints: and, in the moments of interior struggle just as in the hours of professional work, each of you will feel the joy and the strength of not being alone.”

The founder of Opus Dei teaches us in The Forge No. 846: “Constantly call to mind that at every moment you are cooperating in the human and spiritual formation of those around you, and of all souls — for the blessed Communion of Saints reaches as far as that. At every moment: when you work and when you rest; when people see you happy or when they see you worried; when at your job, or out in the street, you pray as does a child of God and the peace of your soul shows through; when people see that you have suffered, that you have wept, and you smile.”

One Response to Communion of Saints
Gloria M. Kuizon says:
November 1, 2015 at 7:14 am
Thank you for this editorial, Manila Times.
We need rermnders like this all the time.


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