Hundreds of homeless families are currently living in Manila's north and south cemeteries. They provide rent-free living in a place that is clean and relatively safe.
In exchange for tending to the tombs, families make their homes around the graves, with the consent of the families of the dead. There are many jobs available: painting tombs, trimming hedges, doing masonry work, carrying visitors on tricycles, burying the dead and disinterring their bones. It is also a playground to the hordes of children. Its empty alleys are ideal for bikes. Kids play hopscotch among the tombs and perch atop monuments to fly kites.
Some families have been calling these cemeteries home for generations. The homes have become more elaborate over the years, some equipped with televisions, hifi's and washing machines.
“I’m not afraid to crawl inside tombs to gather the bones,” one resident said. “I’m more scared of the living because they can do you harm.”