21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Peaceful Playground

For children who live in a cemetery in Rizal, their unconventional living arrangements have become a source of joy, happiness and a deep sense of belonging. Despite the common idea that cemeteries are only for the dead, these kids have found a way to live harmoniously among the graves and tombs. Their ability to find happiness in such an unusual environment is a lesson in peaceful coexistence. While many might balk at the idea of living in a cemetery, these kids have taken a place meant for solemn mourning and transformed it into a community full of laughter, creativity and imagination. They have found a way to coexist peacefully with the dead. In a world where differences often cause unrest and conflict, the peaceful coexistence of these children and the dead is a source of inspiration. They have created a unique way of life that demonstrates that differences need not be the cause of conflict, but instead can be a source of unity and a driving force towards greater creativity and cooperation. Growing up among the tombs has also taught these children the importance of making the most of what life has to offer. They understand that life is fleeting and that they should enjoy every moment to the fullest. This outlook has helped them to be content with what they have, and to find joy and happiness in the little things. Despite the challenges they face, these children have formed a community based on mutual respect, care and support. They have learned how to take care of each other, how to share, and how to work together. They understand the importance of relationships and the role they play in supporting one another through the difficulties of life.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Angono, Rizal, Philippines
Camera: ILCE-6000
Copyright: © Bernard II Recirdo