Millions flock to Philippine cemeteries to remember the dead
Millions of Filipinos flocked to the cemeteries throughout the Philippines on Saturday in the annual tradition of remembering their dead, dpa reported.
Police and military forces have been deployed around the cemeteries and other key public installations to ensure that the two-day event would be peaceful.
Different government agencies and volunteer organizations have set-up booths just outside the cemeteries to provide assistance to those needing help.
The Philippine National Red Cross said it mobilized thousands of volunteers nationwide to provide medical assistance to people going to the cemeteries.
The All Saints Day is one of the major holidays in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, where more than 80 per cent of the country's estimated 88.67 million people profess to the Catholic faith.
The celebration follows the Catholic religious tradition of remembering martyrs who were later canonized as saints. It has become an opportunity for relatives to get together for a day.
Families bring candles, bouquet of flowers and food and hold vigils at the spruced up and whitened sepulchers of their departed loved ones.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)warned on Saturday against fake priests going around the cemeteries to offer prayer for the dead for a fee.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, CBCP spokesman, warned against the commercialization of the event.
Police officers and security officials confiscated bladed weapons and alcoholic drinks from people entering the cemeteries.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her family visited three cemeteries in metropolitan Manila where her parents and relatives were buried.