Some residents of Bacolod City, including children, who live near public cemeteries, have found ways to earn an income during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day by offering services to spruce up the graves.
Among them is “Cyril,” a 10-year-old boy, who has already earned a few hundred pesos by cleaning and painting tombs at the Bacolod City Public Cemetery on Wednesday morning, November 1.
“I already got P500 since I started at 6:00 a.m.,” he said in a radio interview.
The boy, who lives in a village adjacent to Barangay Villamonte where the public cemetery is located, said he accepted tomb painting and cleaning separately for P100 and fixing of the tombstone inscription for P150.
In a separate interview, two young men, “Bornok” and “Waldo,” told the Philippine News Agency that on Tuesday, October 31, alone, they had already earned about P4,000 for providing graveyard services also at the Bacolod City Public Cemetery.
Standard cleaning ranges from P150 to P200, but they charge P1,000 at the minimum for thorough cleaning and repainting.
At the Sum-ag Public Cemetery in Barangay Sum-ag, “Rolyn” said she has been sprucing up graves together with her partner starting at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
“We charge depending on the service required. The lowest is P100, but we also accept even P50, for just painting the tombstone,” she said.
She shared that from morning until the afternoon, they could earn at least P1,000.
Aside from “Rolyn,” two boys in grade school also have pails of paint on hand to provide painting service in the same cemetery.
They would use the money they earn for school allowance, they said in a radio interview.
A group of enterprising young children have also been asking for cash donations for burning incense for the dead at the Handumanan Public Cemetery in Barangay Handumanan.
On Wednesday morning, they set up a stall near the entrance to attract older visitors who believe that the incense will help ward off evil spirits.
Meanwhile, at least 200 flower sellers and food vendors have been given permission to set up stalls in designated areas approved by the Local Market Committee until Thursday, November 2.
They each paid a special permit worth P400 from the Business Permits and Licensing Division to sell flowers, candles and food items outside the Bacolod City Public Cemetery, areas outside the public markets and along the public plaza. (PNA)