SLIDESHOW: Informal Settlers

Text and photos by Rem Zamora for

Posted at Jun 28 2013 07:11 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2013 08:28 PM

Two weeks ago, Metro Manila experienced heavy flooding once again due to monsoon rains. Stranded commuters had to wade through knee-deep floods, or wait hours for the water to subside. This has been a recurring sight every year.

As population density increases in Metro Manila, so does the number of informal settlers who have no place to stay. This, in turn, produces more waste products than the capital can accommodate and manage.

The government says one of the causes of the recent flooding is informal settlers living near waterways, who clog the natural flow of water due to improper waste disposal and construction of illegal structures.

Under Tullahan bridge along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City lies a small community composed of about 9 households living directly beneath the bridge. There were more families living there before 2009, but when tropical storm Ondoy flooded the whole of Metro Manila, this community was one of those severely affected, prompting the local government to relocate most of them.

Some of them opted to stay. This is their story.