Elena died of diabetes at the age of 64, as the family could not afford the necessary medicine.
In some suburbs of Manila there is a tradition for the deceased’s family to rent a karaoke machine in order to collect money for the funeral expenses. During the wake people come by, put a coin in the machine and sing a song for the deceased. Nearby, games of chance are played and the profits also go to cover the funeral expenses. Unfortunately, the weather was very bad with consequent power outages following Elena’s death, and very few chose to come by and sing. However, many people attended the gambling table.
Thank you to Elena and her family for letting me into their home and hearts in this very sad situation.