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Living Amongst The Dead

Manila, Philippines


A photo series depicting the lives of the people who choose to live in one of Philippines’ largest cemeteries.

South Manila Cemetery occupies an area of 25 Hectares (62 Acres), and has a maximum capacity of 371,490 graves. As of 2018, there were an estimated 753,186 burials there. Due to lack of space, the dead are stacked on top of each other above ground.

In between the tombstones, and amongst the deceased resting in peace, more than 3,000 individuals belonging to over 300 families can be found living their daily lives. Just like any other village, there is cooking, cleaning and playing atop the gravestones. When loved ones of the dead come to pay their respects, these grave dwellers have to temporarily vacate their homes. They return, sometimes days later, to resume business as usual.

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