The Philippines Where Life Is Balanced on Stilts

Two years later, Aquino's People Power revolution is on hold

Not far from the creek named Scorched Lime in the northern slums of Manila lies a settlement called Happy Land. The name notwithstanding, Happy Land is neither happy nor on land. A collection of lean-tos patched together from plastic, cardboard, plywood and scrap metal, Happy Land is built on stilts above the black waters of a sewage canal. Flies buzz around empty tin cans and wastepaper in the water below, as Happy Landers catwalk across the planks that lead from shack to shack. Inside cramped quarters, men play cards or sleep on chairs padded with rags; women boil rice on mottled...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!