North Cemetery


If you thought Manila's Chinese Cemetery was different, you clearly haven't made it to its abutting North Cemetery. While significant for being the burial place of many notable Filipinos, including numerous presidents and revolutionaries, it's on tourists' radars more as a place to observe the unique living arrangements of a community of some 6000 people who live here among the dead. It's a unique set-up, with many mausoleums doubling as houses, small shops and game arcades for kids.

Despite the government considering the inhabitants to be squatters (issuing eviction notices on several occasions), many of the North Cemetery dwellers have jobs within, including being employed by tomb owners to provide maintenance duties and keep their deceased company.

Given the community is extremely impoverished, it's essential to come along with a guide who knows the area, either arranged through nearby Red Carabao hostel, Smokey Tours or at the cemetery entrance (though with the latter you're not guaranteed an English speaker).

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