Families live with the dead after setting up home in a working cemetery

Up to 6,000 grave dwellers live among the dead after making their homes inside Mausoleums in a gigantic sprawling cemetery.

The makeshift town now sees the living and dead coexist in the North Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.

Up to 6,000 grave dwellers live among the dead in the North Cemetery in Manila, Philippines

Up to 6,000 grave dwellers live among the dead
in the North Cemetery in Manila, Philippines

The area – one of Manila’s poorest informal settlements, according to a 2011 Asian Development Bank report – has seen thousands of families erect homes in and around tombstones.

Others have created small kiosks and business selling everything from shampoos to televisions.

And incredibly, the cemetery is still a working one, with funerals taking place daily among the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Marc Veraart, 40, from the Netherlands, visited the cemetery during his travels. He said: "It looks enormous at first sight. It is located in a very run down area of Manila but it still looked serene and a respected place."

Marc Veraart, 40, from the Netherlands, visited the cemetery during his travels. He said: “It looks enormous at first sight. It is located in a very run down area of Manila but it still looked serene and a respected place.”

Marc Veraart, 40, from the Netherlands, visited the cemetery during his travels. He said: “It looks enormous at first sight. It is located in a very run down area of Manila but it still looked serene and a respected place.

“There appeared to be no violence.

“But what surprised me most was that it is still an active cemetery.”

In the 54-hectare space – Philippines’ largest cemetery – enterprising locals have carved out communities inside mausoleums and among the sprawling headstones and tombs.

It is not known exactly when the community sprung up, but many middle-aged residents were born in North Cemetery – known in local dialects as Cementerio del Norte.

Many families eat, sleep and relax surrounded by the final resting places of some times dozens of the deceased.

Marc, a TV director who has visited 63 countries to date, added: “The inventiveness and ingenuity of the people is brilliant.

“How they find a way to build their house and playgrounds in and around the tombs is vey interesting.

“Thousands of people live there. It is very big and you can walk there for hours exploring it.

“It is truly a unique place in the world.”