In the Philippines, a part of South East Asia countries, the poor and the dead have little choice but to mingle together in a graveyard in the northern Manila port district of Navotas, one of the world’s most densely populated areas behind only a few Indian cities.
“We would like to live elsewhere,” Ramos, a 20-year-old pregnant, unwed mother of two, told AFP as she fed her children inside a shanty made of plastic sheets, bamboo and bits of wood. But we were born here and we grew up here. I don’t think we will be able to get out of here.”
Ramos and her extended family of 12, plus her jobless boyfriend, are one of about 600 families in the cemetery compound, a community ironically called Bagong Silang (Newborn).
Ramos’s tent is one of several pitched precariously atop a row of concrete tombs, themselves piled five-high, like shipping containers, at the crowded Navotas municipal cemetery. The residents of the cemetery sleep, cook, eat, bathe, and wash clothes atop the tombs, and life can look grisly for an outsider.