MANILA (Reuters) – In the crowded sprawl of Manila, the living must compete for space with the dead.

Fortunately for Virginia Bernardino and hundreds of other slum dwellers who have moved into the largest cemetery in the Philippines, the deceased don’t seem to mind.


“So far we have not seen any ghosts here,” the soft-spoken Bernardino, 59, said with a chuckle. “I think that only happens in the movies. As the saying goes, we should fear not the dead but the living.”

For years, Manila North Cemetery, a public graveyard in the center of the capital of 12 million people, has been a thriving community for those evicted from their homes or flocking from the provinces for better opportunities in the big city.

After being forced from their state lot beside the cemetery to make way for a new graveyard, Bernardino and her husband have converted her mother-in-law’s mausoleum into a home for their two sons, their wives and children.

Living conditions are basic but the residents manage some creature comforts. Clothes hang from lines strung among the makeshift shacks and television sets flicker in a few homes with electricity stolen from nearby power lines.

孫子
Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.
孫子