QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- It’s been two years since we last experience maskless gatherings, protocol-free holidays, and the word social distancing was not yet popular. However, after COVID-19 hit the country, there were changes far from the old normal, but a couple of years later the Filipinos already developed and adapted to the 'new normal.'
All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) or more commonly known as Undas by Filipinos is an annual remembrance of the departed. For as long as I can remember, November 1 – an official holiday, is a day when families gather in cemeteries to visit their loved ones. They flock around the graves lighting their colorful candles and placing nicely decorated flowers as a way of remembering the life of the person. It has been a tradition Filipinos never missed.
Since the spread of COVID-19, this tradition has been halted for safety. Protocols have been enforced and masks, since then, have been a must. Visiting cemeteries were stopped but last year it has been eased by scheduling and limiting the number of people who can visit. This year, as we continuously recover from the effects of the pandemic, people are getting more used to this 'new normal' set-up.
Cemeteries are now open to the public, accessibility through transportation is also working, and the restrictions protocols are strictly implemented. Similar to other public gatherings like elections rallies, graduation rites, and alike, people are getting used to the situation. Thus, slowly and safely, Filipinos are bouncing back and reviving their traditions before the health crisis.
This Undas 2022 take the opportunity to remember the lives of your loved ones, take a break from the fast-paced life after being stuck at home for two years, and make sure to do these with safety and precautions because ever since we were exposed to COVID-19, the new normal happened. (MVV – PIA CPSD)