Metropolitan Manila is not only a city of 10 million people but as one of the most densely populated cities in the world, the lack of space has forced the poorest of the poor to build their homes in the main cities’ cemeteries, one in particular, the public cemetery of Navotas. Bagong Silang roughly translated means Newly Born and this name was given to the area of where the community live in the cemetery of Navotas.
The population has grown considerably over the last 10 years with now being over a 1,000 families crammed into the graveyard and peripheral slums. The cemetery has provided lots of jobs to the residents such as grave cleaning, scavenging for rubbish or the fishermen whose houses are built on the bamboo structures that reach out over the sea. As the narrow alleys of the wood and plastic shanty town leads from the tombs to the vast bamboo structures built out over the sea, testament to the creativity of the community living on the margins of society, it is only the communal nature of their lives that allows hope to triumph over the poverty that surrounds them.
Directed by Zena Merton
Produced by Giselle Santos
Camera by Stefan Werc