Thousands of Filipinos still went to cemeteries in Metro Manila despite the rain that damped the grave yards on Wednesday, All Saints’ Day, as an annual tradition in the country.
People who visited the tombs of their dear departed brought with them candles and flowers, as well as food for the family, while others spent the night beside the tombs of their family members.
Two alternate entrance gates were opened at the Manila South Cemetery to accommodate the visitors, expected to number around half a million.
Engineer Maribel Bueza, Manila South Cemetery director, said 30 wheelchairs have been made available at the entrance.
According to the Manila City Hall, those who need help in locating the tombs of their loved ones may visit www.manilasouthcemetery.com.ph to locate the grave site.
At the Manila North Cemetery, 100 e-tricycles were on standby to bring visitors inside for free.
Some areas were hard to access due to tombs being built close to each other.
But to help locate the deceased, one can access http://www.manilanorthcemetery.com to locate the grave site.
Meanwhile, at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, those who stayed overnight slept in tents to avoid being wet from the rain.
The Philippine National Red Cross reported two cases of minor injuries at this cemetery: one, a minor who got hurt while fixing a folding bed, and a senior citizen who slipped.
At the Pasay Public Cemetery, meanwhile, vendors of candles and flowers opened their stalls before 6 a.m.
Visitors have started arriving, with a few bearing paintbrushes to give tombs a fresh coat of paint. Police were visible in the area.
Police said no crime was reported overnight.
A help desk of the police has been set up to assist the public for any concern.
At the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, there were also a number of people who stayed overnight to avoid the crowd arriving on All Saints’ Day.
Some of them arrived at 3 p.m. Tuesday intending to sleep over with family members.
The tombs of former President Corazon Aquino and her husband, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. were seen surrounded by flowers, among them those sent by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Aquino family, led by former President Benigno Aquino III, already visited over the weekend.