Street/Documentary Photographer Vilen Gabrielyan is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Tenement Manila. To see Vilen’s body of work, click on any image.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a sprawling metropolis with a population nearing 20 million. It is also the world’s most densely populated city. In order to house the ever-growing population various government administrations built tenement buildings throughout Metro Manila. This provided housing for Manileños, while also serving as subsidized homes for low-income residents. As administrations changed and urban development shifted many of the tenement homes started to decline and residents were left to fend for themselves and their buildings.
Today many of these complexes do not meet adequate living standards; most do not have running water, official electricity, garbage collection and other sanitary standards. Despite these challenges there is a very strong bond amongst the residents of these communities. In many cases families have been residents for several generations and there is sense of community and perseverance with residents working together to make up where the city government has failed them. Manila is is ever expanding with new arrivals from provinces moving to Manila in search of jobs and opportunity. Cost of property and value of land is increasing and under-served communities are caught in the cross hairs of land developers and urban planning.
All images and text © Vilen Gabrielyan
By Vilen Gabrielyan
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