President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos (PBBM) has recently declared Tuesday, October 31, 2023, as a special non-working holiday to boost family ties and promote local tourism. This recent proclamation makes October 31 until November 2 extended holidays for the Philippines, with long weekends from the end of October to early November of 2023. It was signed on October 18, declaring October 31 as a memorable non-working holiday throughout the nation.
Although October 31 falls on a Tuesday, the holiday season extends until Thursday, November 2, leaving Filipinos a Friday to have an option to file for a leave for an extended holiday period leading into a long weekend.
November 1st and 2nd are special holidays for Filipinos to visit their loved ones who have passed, honoring them on All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day, an additional special non-working day.
Cemeteries are expected to be packed from the long weekend from October to November 2023 as Filipino families gather to celebrate their bereaved loved ones. The “Undas” season is a time for Filipinos to take a break from the hustle and bustle of work and school to spend time with family as they honor their dead at cemeteries.
During this long weekend from October to November, cemeteries are usually filled with vendors, ranging from small to large enterprises, for cemetery visitors to purchase from. Merchandise typically ranges from toys to food. Some cemeteries even hold costume contests for children to participate in during the “Undas” period.
The Roman Catholic church originally started All Saints’ Day to honor the dead. Since some saints have their own memorial days, All Saints’ Day was created to honor the dead and all who passed uncanonized, providing a set date for all the bereaved to be recognized, remembered, and celebrated.
The majority of Filipinos belong to the Catholic church, hence the numerous Filipinos participating in the “Undas” season. From Luzon to Mindanao, almost all Filipino families are expected to gather at cemeteries to celebrate the lives of their bereaved loved ones for the long weekend from October to November 2023.
Also Read: LIST: October 2023 Holidays in the Philippines