This Week in Metro Manila (March 26 to April 1, 2018)

Read up on essential Holy Week reminders and updates!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | March 26, 2018
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Holy week 2018 in Metro Manila

Holy week is an annual celebration and tribute for the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Image: Nhoi Valencia

This week, Roman Catholics will celebrate Holy Week, which means there would be no classes and work from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday (March 29 to April 1). Many use the long weekend to unwind in provinces or even out of the country. Meanwhile, those who will remain in the city will have to deal with the restricted schedule of several businesses like malls and major forms of transportation.

Weather: Sunny days to be expected

As the summer season looms around the corner, Metro Manila will continue to experience warm temperature all week long. While the season has not been officially announced yet, the heat will continue on with the day temperature ranging from 33 °C to 35 °C—which means that having an umbrella in hand is a must to avoid the sun’s harmful rays. On the other hand, the clear skies indicate a nice time for any outdoor activities during the long weekend.

Traffic News: Train schedules, road closures, and a new expressway

Those who are planning to stay in Manila this week can use an alternative mode of transportation if they’re planning to use the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) as these two will be closed during the latter part of the week.

LRT-1 will suspend its operations from March 29 to April 1 to pave way for maintenance works, while the MRT will be closed from March 28 to April 1. Both trains resume operations on April 2.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also announced that some of the lanes along the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) will be closed for the week as they will also conduct road repairs. The number coding scheme will also be lifted.

In other news, a new expressway which aims to connect the South of Manila to several areas such as Taytay, Rizal has just opened. Through this, travel time from Bicutan, Taguig to Taytay, Rizal is intended to be reduced to just half an hour according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Travel Updates: Airlines news, hotel bookings, and surge of people in churches

”No leave” policy for airport employees this Holy Week

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) stated that all of the country’s 37 airports are ready to accommodate the expected influx of passengers this Holy Week. In preparation, CAAP also implemented a “no leave” policy among its employees to ensure that they would not be understaffed.

Suspension of Manila Pavilion’s operations and Metro Manila hotels’ booking status

After being engulfed in flames that killed at least five people, the Manila Pavilion announced the suspension of its operations until needed clearances are received, so the hotel will be unavailable for booking until further notice. In the meantime, it’s best to find an alternative hotel within the same location.

Those who are planning to spend their long weekends in the Metro are in luck! Plenty of rooms are still available for booking at major hotels in Metro Manila this week. However, some hotels might get fully booked due to increased demands as the holidays near. To be sure, check the room availability of your preferred hotel online and make reservations early.

Expected surge of people in churches

Hundreds of visitors are expected to flock to several popular churches in Manila like the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, San Sebastian, and Quiapo Church due to the visita iglesia (the tradition of visiting seven churches) conducted by most Catholics every Holy Week. To ensure the safety of residents and visitors at the area, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will disperse officers in areas with a high volume of people, which includes churches.

Shopping Scoop: Mall operating hours for Holy Week

Major malls in Manila have already released their operating schedules for Holy Week. Majority of the malls are closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, although there are some that are open. Meanwhile there are various schedules for Holy Wednesday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Just to be sure, it’s recommended to check the announcements from the malls you are going to visit.
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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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