Living With the Dead
Would you live in a graveyard? Pasay City's alternative to slums
In the Philippines cemeteries are home to both the living and the dead, providing thousands of families with a viable alternative to the country's overcrowded slums.
"At first I was afraid, but as time went by I got used to it", says Celia Garcia, a resident of Manila's Pasay City cemetery who earns her family money by cleaning graves. Despite the misgivings of local authorities, the communities in these cemeteries have flourished, creating a practical culture where mausoleums double as homes and the dead are honoured rather than feared. As one gravedigger remarks, "you should be afraid of the living, not the dead".