MANILA- Grieving families and colleagues of fallen soldiers are marking the first All Souls' Day since the end of the war in Marawi City.
Among those expected to flock at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City are families and troops who will pay their respects to soldiers killed during the 5-month battle.
One of the worst urban wars in years, the conflict in Marawi City claimed some 1,100 lives, including over a hundred soldiers.
Aissa Lape, wife of slain Cpl. Domimar Lape, said she continues to grieve deeply for her husband, who died after being hit by a grenade thrown by extremists in Marawi in August.
"Ang hirap talaga ng pinagdadaanan ko. Pakiramdam ko kalahati ng buhay ko nawala sa'kin," she said while weeping at her husband's grave.
(I'm really going through a difficult time. I feel like half of my life was taken away from me.)
Lape said her dear "Dondon" left her with 3 children, who are still having a hard time coping with their father's death. She called on families of other troops who lost loved ones in the war to lift their sorrows to the Lord.
"Have faith in God talaga. Sa sitwasyon namin ngayon, kung may mga anak, mag-focus sa mga bagay na iniwan sa kanila. Matutuwa asawa namin na nakikita nila naaalagaan mga anak kahit wala na sila," she said.
(In our situation now, if you have children, focus on them... Our husbands will be proud to see that we are caring for our children even if they (our husbands) are already gone.)
A survivor of the siege, Cpl. Jessie Castillejo also took the time to pay respects to his slain friend, Cpl. Lape.
"Namimiss namin siya. Palabiro, mabait, masayahin na tao. Hindi ko lubos maisip na biglang mawala ba," he said.
(We miss him. He was a joker, a kind and cheerful person. I still can't believe he's gone.)
Private First Class Ken Carlo Dalogdog visited the grave of his Scout Ranger brother, Cpl. Felmark Dalogdog, who was killed in Marawi after being hit by an enemy sniper.
He said the entire family is still coping with his brother's death.
"Pinaintindi naman sa kanila na part of the service 'yung mawala nang hindi inaasahan. Tanggap na rin nila," PFC Dalogdog said.