Living with the Dead

It’s often said that whenever you feel despondent, just remember there are other people less, very much less fortunate than you.

But the human mind being what it is, sometimes it’s real hard to do that.

I often come face to face with these tragic twists of life as I travel…I see it every time in India, in Africa and even in Europe. I see little children, sometimes with tattered clothes, walking the streets looking for food, money, or anything they can sell and get money….sometimes they have no clothes at all….walking around aimlessly.

We are fortunate that almost all of us have roofs over our heads, food to eat, and maybe a little money as well. What about those who do not have these? What of them? There is no answer….

Let’s look at the Far East, Manila to be precise. A journalist James Chance has been documenting the lives of the homeless and how they manage to survive.

It is somehow ironic, that a small community of more than 2000 people live in a place that is always the last a person will visit in his/her lifetime….that’s right, they live in a cemetery.

In huge contrast to cemeteries in our cities which are normally places looking very austere, sad and lonely, the cemeteries in Manila are full of life. The thousands of tombs, mausoleums and crypts have become homes for the families who live below the poverty line. Some of them actually work here, being hired by well-off families to look after their relatives’ resting places.

Conditions are not good, but far better than living on the streets. There is no water supply…there are only one or two wells where the water has to be carried from.

If anyone falls ill, there is an abundance of help available within the comunity…..herbal helaers, folk remedies, even faith healers abound. Anything more serious? Well….that’s a one way street you’re on and many don’t come back…..


Another funeral procession, residents looking on


An elderly woman looks out at a funeral procession from her mausoleum home


A couple relaxing in their mausoleum home


No bathroom privacy here…it’s all done out in the open!


Even here there are hierarchies…the lowest of the low get to live above these cramped tombs


A woman at a funeral mourns, while the residents of the cemetery look on from above

all photos courtesy




About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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