Small concrete squares imprinted with paws stretch across a patch of land in a Philippines village. Some are painted in bright colors, others are decorated with trinkets, religious tokens, messages and photos. All have names painted on them.
These gravestones mark the burial sites of beloved pets laid to rest by their owners in Fortune Village, Marikina City, Metro Manila.
The site was set up as a pet cemetery in March 2020 by village captain Rizalina Watson Teope. She had been moved after finding remains of dead cats and dogs while participating in a river clean-up event.
“Our constituents are delighted because they now get a chance to give a decent place for their loved ones, for their departed loved pets (to rest),” she said.
“They’re no longer worried when [their pets] die. There’s a place in our barangay (district) where they can bury them and visit them any time they want.”
Village officers hope the project will provide residents comfort from the grief of losing their pets, cherished as life companions.
A visual story by Rolex Dela Pena.