Living among dead - Phillipines 2017

The North Cemetery of Manila, inaugurated in 1904, is one of the oldest and largest cemeteries that the living in Manila have been forced to inhabit due to poverty and overpopulation. Currently, they house an estimated one million dead and have led to more than 10,000 Filipino families having converted the cemetery into their home.

Some families live in their own family pantheons, inheritance from several generations ago, others live there with the consent of the owners, taking care of their maintenance and safety.

The cemetery has become a small self-sufficient city where you can find shops and different services in the most unsuspected places. Everyone there has some function or task, some work as undertakers or as masons in the care of niches and tombs, the youngest ones charge a few cents for carrying the coffins. Sundays are the days with the most movement of the week as the dead arrive or new tenants of the living.

At night, people sleep in the tombs. Those in the cemetery prefer their relative tranquility and security to the dangerous slums of the city. In the mausoleums and improvised structures built on tombs, families continue with their days. They talk, play cards and watch soap operas on televisions mounted near tombstones or ornamental crosses.

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