MASANTOL -- A day before the All Saints’ Day, cemeteries in this fourth district town were still submerged in at least ankle-deep flood waters.
According to Mayor Danilo Guintu, pumping out water is not an option as the cemeteries were left behind by road upgrading projects implemented by the government around its vicinity.
“Ali tana pwedeng mamomba, ali ne pante ing sementeryu ampong dalan. Bala dagat ne ing sementeryu tamu (We cannot pump out the waters anymore. Our cemeteries seem to have become ponds now due to the high elevation of the main road),” he explained.
But the floodwaters in cemeteries do not seem to dampen the spirits and faith of Masantoleños as many are still seen cleaning and visiting the tombs of their loved ones, Guintu said.
As early as last week, families were already taking turns in cleaning the tombs and some were already lighting candles and bringing flowers, he added.
“Sumangid ning kalbug, tuluy pa rin ing selebrasyun mi kareng memayapa. Ing pamangadi, pamanyinding kandila ampong pamiyabe deng pamilya ya pamu rin (Despite the floodwaters, our observance of All Saints’ Day continues. We still offer prayers, light candles together with our families,” he said.
To provide access, Guintu said the he ordered the elevation of the main roads of the cemeteries and construction of temporary bridges so Masantoleños can reach the graves of their loved ones.
He urged other families whose departed loved ones’ tombs are fully submerged in floodwaters to just offer prayers or light candles in their respective houses instead of braving the floodwaters.
He noted that while the tradition is very much important, the health and safety of themselves must be prioritized as floodwaters might cause different diseases such as cholera.