Poverty is something that ironically goes in connivance with progress and it is evident especially in this country. As the rich get richer, the poor constantly gets poorer. Brought about the instinct to adapt, marginalized Filipinos have found peculiar ways to live within the city, forming communities the most unusual places. From dumpsites to bridges; to even makeshift houses that float along the coast, our countrymen have managed to stay within the hustle and bustle of the city for the belief that there’s a better chance of a future here compared to the provinces. But there’s nothing I personally found more bizarre than living amongst the dead.
The roughly 54-hectare Manila North Cemetery is considered to be the largest and one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Manila. It houses hundreds of thousands of the city’s Catholic dead while it hosts a living community of more than 2,000 inside mausoleums and makeshift personal spaces built atop “apartment-type” tombs. It is owned by the local government of Manila and has already established a conventional locale with its residents; requiring them to have titles for the space they occupy and even permits for the businesses they establish within the premises.