Navotas Cemetery: Manila, Philippines

My friend sent me this interesting documentary. In the capital of The Philippines, population growth has reached 20,000,000. Many are people from poor rural areas who have come into the city looking for work.
In a large cemetery, a shanty town has grown, populated by people living in abject poverty, among the concrete graves. As the graves can only be occupied for five years, they are broken open after that time, and the remains and bones removed. If unclaimed by any relatives, they are stacked in piles, and later burned.

Children play among the graves, and on the piles of bones and skulls. The families eat there, work there in some cases, and live their lives in conditions unknown in any western country. This high-definition film is very well-made, with a reporter who is respectful, and non judgmental. It is only 20 minutes long, and worth watching to make you appreciate how different life is for the rest of us.

50 thoughts on “Navotas Cemetery: Manila, Philippines

  1. Makes me grateful for all I have. I did a post on the slum of Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya. Taking a tour of it has changed me to this day. The fortunate people of the first world, prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend these places don’t exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminded me of the settlements next to garbage dumps. The extreme of poverty in places with extreme wealth is staggering. Here people lose teeth for lack of dental care while others have their faces “modified” with new jaw lines. I have no response besides sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like the world is getting cruel and harder to live in. We have developed for the worse. This isn’t what we wanted but we have it. I can’t believe what I just saw. Every time we think it will get better it just gets worse. I feel ashamed at the state of the world because some way or the other we are responsible for this. We can help them but we choose to stay silent like those political leaders are. If their president wanted they could live a nice life but then who would be greedy?? This is shameful and heartbreaking. 😔😣

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We can’t even begin to imagine what other people’s lives are like. I read a book called the Ministry of Utmost Happiness where one of the characters moves into a cemetery and makes her house there, but as usual, truth is stranger than fiction. Thanks for sharing, Pete, and I hope their lives improve. Everybody deserves a decent life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. (1) The 17-year-old girl who is two months pregnant, and whose parents are dead, didn’t really answer the question regarding how she feels about the prospects of raising a child there. Perhaps she’s just living in the moment. That’s all you can do when there is no future, and friends and family are all you have.
    (2) The young girl at 20:44 is wearing a Paris T-shirt. That must seem like a faraway paradise to her. Can you imagine the overwhelming emotions she’d feel if one day, somehow, she’d able to travel there?
    (3) It’s just such a shame that anyone has to live like this. It’s not really living. It’s an existence. A man said that you have to get used to it, and that we all end up in a box anyway.
    (4) This video is dated 2015. i wonder if the people have been relocated by now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heartbreakingly brutal and honest. There are so many parts of this world where abject poverty and despair are all people will ever know…VICE has done a great job telling these stories – they are going after much more aggressive topics and they have a unique style.

    I shared this look at a brilliant documentary called “Workingman’s Death”, showing 5 of the most dangerous jobs in the world…here’s a link with the trailer to the film if interested:

    https://johnrieber.com/2015/11/22/searing-expose-docs-workingmans-death-whores-glory-brilliant-documentaries-showcase-life-on-the-edge/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with this video Pete. I think it is located in Manila. If only these government officials from the president down to the lowest rank would only prioritize those things that are badly in need of their attention but their pockets are full with money from drugs and corruption. As long as their president ignores their plight, they would remain in abject poverty.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brutal poverty. Heartbreaking. The Philippines have many problems. It is a haven for sexual predators who prey upon children and their desperate parents. Islam extremist terrorize and control some areas and corrupt strongmen pilfer government funds. I know several Philippine natives and they are so nice. Theirs is a friendly and generous culture. So sad.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m from the Philippines and this comment is sad but true. Don’t forget as well at how the Catholic church still has a stranglehold on people’s lives hence why divorce and abortion are still illegal and why successive governments have struggled to promote family planning especially among the poor.

      Liked by 2 people

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