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. The residents of the cemetery sleep, cook, eat, bathe, and wash clothes atop the tombs, and life can look grisly for an outsider. There are no toilets or running water, garbage piles up among the tombs and the area is infested with cockroaches that particularly like to parade across the tombs at night. Due to a lack of space in the cemetery, old bodies have to be eventually removed from the tombs and smelly, damp bones are scattered throughout the cemetery or in sacks that have been dumped on tombstones. Jerry Doringo, spokesman for the Novotas city government, explained that local residents got free burial when they died, but the corpses could only stay inside the tombs for five years.
|Children living in and next to the cemetery watch a caretaker saw a mummified corpse into so it can be transferred to a smaller tomb in the Philippine Navotas Municipal Cemetery. - LINK|
All photos by Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images