Folks unperturbed by downpours, swamp cemeteries
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Whole day downpours spawned by tropical depression “Ramil” Wednesday marred the observance of All Saints’ Day” here, but folks paying respects to their departed remained unperturbed as they swamped public cemeteries and private memorial parks to offer flowers and light candles. A memorial park here was virtually transformed into a sea of colorful umbrellas in between a jungle of tents and makeshift structures to keep people from getting wet. In strategic areas, authorities doubled-up emergency, health and security personnel to secure areas of convergence amidst the heavy downpours. “We have to brave the rains. We actually read about it in the papers that it is going to be a wet All Saints’ Day so we prepared for this. We need to observe Undas now since we have to get back to work tomorrow which is not a holiday and our only chance to do that is today, November 1,” said Jeffrey Nacpil, who came with his kids in rain gear and big umbrellas. “Wala naman tayong magawa dahil nature ito. Pero buti na lamang maagap ang media sa pag-announce na uulan ngayon. At least tama ang PagAsa forecast. Ang worry lamang namin itong mga bata baka magkasakit so maaga na lamang kaming uuwi,” Marissa Macabali, a mother of four who flew in from Australia to offer flowers to her late husband.
In Apalit town, hundreds of people were still seen coming in various cemeteries to light candles and offer flowers alongside prayers for their departed loved ones. According to Mayor Peter Nucom, several families did not mind the bad weather felt Tuesday as they have already set up tents as early as October 31. He added that those who are in private cemeteries were usually sheltered in their family mausoleums and were not affected by the rain showers. “May mga tents naman kasi sila na itinatayo, ‘yung sa mosoleyo naman parang bahay na ‘yan, hindi na nila mamamalayan kaya dire-diretso ang Undas,” he said. Nucom said that the influx of people in cemeteries is still expected until November 2, especially for families who weren’t able to visit their departed loved ones yesterday. He said that the local government, together with the local police, will continue to provide assistance to public, especially in the vicinity of cemeteries until today. “Hanggang November 2 pa naman ang holiday so expected na may mga tao pa bukas.
May mga tao kasi na ayaw sumabay sa maraming tao, tapos may pag-ulan pa ngayon. Ready naman ang mga deployed personnel namin,” he said. In Masantol town where cemeteries are underwater, people took to “bayanihan” mode, putting sandbags and putting up temporary bridges to allow residents to get to their departed’s tombs. The same scenario in many cemeteries, including in this city, where parts of the public restring place are flooded. Mayor Edwin Santiago however said that interventions are in place to keep those observing “Undas” safe and secure. Rainy All Souls’ Day The state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that intermittent rains may continue until November 2, All Souls’ Day as tropical depression “Ramil” moves west to Coron, Palawan from Masbate. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, the center of Ramil was estimated at 115 kilometers (km) West of Roxas City, Capiz.
It is forecast to move west at 20 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph. It is forecast to be 245 km west of Coron, Palawan on Thursday, and 120 km North Northeast of Pagasa Island, Palawan on Friday. Tropical cyclone warning signal (TCWS) No. 1 was raised in Northern Palawan including Calamian Group of Islands (Luzon); Aklan and Antique (Visayas). Also under TCWS #1 are Metro Manila, Bicol region, CALABARZON, rest of Mimaropa are advised to be alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Pagasa added that the estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to occasionally heavy rains within the 200 km diameter of the tropical depression. The weather central advised that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon. (With JTD)