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Computers help search for the dead

AP FILE PHOTO

AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Looking for your loved ones buried at the Manila North Cemetery is no longer a problem, with computers showing you the way.

As part of preparations for marking All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, the cemetery’s administrative office had compiled a computerized database of all those buried there, said Willie Lazaro, head of security.

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“In the past, searching for graves would mean flipping through endless pages of records. Now it can be done in minutes or even seconds,” he said, adding that it is easy to get lost or forget where a loved one is buried inside the 57-hectare cemetery.

Lazaro said the computer database would be updated frequently to show the sites of the newly buried, those who had been moved to other areas, or those who had been taken out.

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Aside from data available on their computers, three new toilets have replaced the portalets rented for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. The portalets are usually in place around the cemetery on Oct. 30 or 31, and would be dirty by November. This time around, Lazaro assured the public that the new toilets, which are permanent fixtures, would be cleaned and maintained every day.

Lazaro said visitors would have to go on foot to the cemetery since vehicles were allowed inside only until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit announced that several roads around the North, Chinese and La Loma Cemeteries will be closed starting 6 a.m. on Nov. 1.

These roads are: Aurora Boulevard from Dimasalang to Rizal Avenue; Blumentritt Road from A. Bonifacio Avenue to P. Guevarra Street; Dimasalang Road from Makiling Street to Blumentritt Road; Retiro Street from Dimasalang Road to Blumentritt Extension; P. Guevarra Street from Cavite Street to Pampanga Street; and Leonor Rivera Street from Cavite Street to Pampanga Street.

Motorists can park their vehicles along Craig Street, Simon Street, Felix Huertas Street, Sulu Street, Oroquieta Street, P. Guevarra Street, Bulacan Street, Tecson Street, Sulu Street, M. Hizon Street, Kalimbas Street, Natividad Street and Metrica Street, as well as other roads not included in the closure and rerouting scheme.

Parking is prohibited on Retiro Street, Laong-Laan Street, Pampanga Street, Rizal Avenue, Jose Abad Santos Street and Aurora Street. Vehicles parked along these roads will be towed.

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TOPICS: All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Computers, Manila North Cemetery, Willie Lazaro
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