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PHOTOS: Snapshots of Life in a Manila Urban Poor Community

An old man in an abandoned lot.

An old man in an abandoned lot.

Together with other members of the Filipino Street Photographers, Mark Z. Saludes conducted a photowalk in an urban poor community in Mandaluyong, an eastern suburb of Manila.

‘Development projects’ and real estate investments are rising in Metro Manila which are often touted as visible proofs of economic growth. Indeed, the Philippines was recently cited as one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, most of the impressive economic statistics often cited by government officials do not always reflect the continuing poverty in the country, even in urban centers like Manila.

Despite the reported progress in the country, Manila is still home to hundreds of thousands of informal settlers. These urban poor communities are always threatened with demolition to give way for ‘development projects’. A relocation program is offered by the government but many families prefer to stay in their homes as they demand for an in-city or near-city housing program where schools, hospitals, and other services are accessible.

The photos of Mr Saludes provide a glimpse of life in an urban poor community in Mandaluyong. A community which might be demolished in the near future.

Global Voices is re-publishing some of these photos with permission from Mr Saludes.

An old man in his shanty

An old man in his shanty

Scraps of wood and old tires are often used to prevent the roofs from collapsing.

Scraps of wood and old tires are often used to prevent the roofs from collapsing.

A child peers through a small window of a thrift store which sells candies and cigarettes

A child peers through a small window of a thrift store which sells candies and cigarettes

The barber shop signpost   reads: Secret of the Handsome

The barber shop signpost reads: Secret of the Handsome

A man wearing an SM cap. SM is owned by the Philippines' richest businessman. Behind the man is a tarpaulin displaying some construction projects

A man wearing an SM cap. SM is owned by the Philippines’ richest businessman. Behind the man is a tarpaulin displaying some construction projects

*All photos courtesy of Mark Z. Saludes

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