MANILA -- Authorities on Sunday started evicting vendors inside Manila North Cemetery in line with the city hall's directive to strictly implement the no-vendors policy.
Some vendors stayed in front of the cemetery's main gate, although officers insisted they are also not allowed there.
Other vendors who sell flowers and candles managed to escape and hide from authorities to continue business inside the cemetery.
"Masakit sa aming mawalan ng puwesto lalo na ito ang hanapbuhay namin. Dito lang kami kumukuha ng pangkain," said vendor Abie Jimenez.
Vendor Mirasol Castañeda also lamented: "Masama loob namin mayor, minsan lang po sa isang taon ang pagkakataon naming kumita. Sana po mayor, pagbigyan niyo kami."
Meanwhile, the administration of Manila South Cemetery heeded the request of vendors to allow them to operate until Tuesday midnight.
"Nakiusap po sila dahil wala raw silang Pamasko, whatever, etcetera. Siyempre, tao lang tayo, mapagbigyan naman natin ang kahilingan ng mga nagtitinda bilang pakikisama, " Raffy Mendez of Manila South Cemetery administration said.
A few days before All Souls' Day and All Saints' Day, the 2 public cemeteries were already congested with people visiting their dearly departed.
Malou Lamit, 64, came early to offer flowers and candles despite the scorching heat.
"Malayo kami, sa Marikina kami nakatira. Eh dumalaw na kami ng maaga. Pagka a-uno o a-dos, mahirap, siksikan na," Lamit said.
Rey Sobresida, who lives in the eastern province of Rizal, along with his family also paid a visit to their departed loved ones.
"Baka hindi na kami makapunta ng a-uno. Kapag pupunta ka ng a-uno, napakasikip. Sa paglakad pa lang, pahirapan na," he said.
Vehicles are no longer allowed inside both cemeteries from October 30 to November 2.