Manila, Oct 31 (EFE).- The Philippines is set to celebrate All Saints Day on Tuesday, with around 15 million people expected to visit the graves of their loved ones after two years of pandemic restrictions in the country.
A police force of more than 192,000 officers will be deployed around 2,768 cemeteries for the occasion, the National Police said in a statement on Monday.
The people celebrate “Undas,” as this celebration is known in the Catholic majority Philippines, in a festive and flowery atmosphere, where citizens sing, take “selfies” and leave candles in the pantheons and tombs of their departed loved ones, unlike the solemnity that marks All Saints’ Day in other countries.
“The pandemic of recent years forced us to come to terms with our mortality. It taught us to number our days as we realize the uncertainty of our time on Earth,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in a statement on the occasion, and urged the people to visit cemeteries.
Marcos Jr. declared Monday, Oct. 31, a nationwide holiday, so that people may enjoy a long holiday weekend stretching to Tuesday.
However, during the weekend thousands of people were caught in the cities following torrential rains caused by the passage of tropical storm Nalgae.
The storm has left at least 98 dead, mostly on the southern island of Mindanao, as landslides and severe flooding affected the entire archipelago.
Simultaneously, and as a reflection of the cultural fusion of Filipino society after centuries of foreign colonization, Halloween – a pagan feast of Anglo-Saxon tradition – is celebrated Monday in the archipelago.
Shops, malls and venues of all kinds have been filled for several days with toys, spider webs and masks of monsters commemorating Halloween, while supermarkets have been stocked up with large pumpkins.
This Halloween there are numerous parties and gatherings scheduled in entertainment venues, while children will go knocking on the doors of their neighbors looking for candies. EFE