Historic Old Malabon



Tambobong was the old name of Malabon. It lies among several esteros crisscrossing around islets which winds up in the large Dagatdagatan Lake. Malabon was founded as visita of Tondo on May 21, 1599. It became an independent parish 1641 with San Bartolome Apostol as patron saint.



Church of San Bartolome Apostol



It was in the year 1621 when the first stone church was built in Malabon. The transept, two lateral aisle and the media naranjan dome were added in the later years. Well-known architect, Luciano Oliver directed the construction of the Parthenon-like column on the façade as well as the twin towers. 





The church was heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation. It has remained untouched for almost 20 years. In 1951, the façade was restored by Fr. Trinidad. The dome, transept, main altar, and bell tower were repaired in 1958 by Fr. Reyes.





The church measures 70.14 meters long, 20.05 meters wide. It has a central nave, two lateral aisles, a transept and a barrel vault dome topped by a campanile.



Outside the church is a cemetery that was established in 1835. It has an arched gateway, a tower monument located at the center. To its rear side is a mortuary chapel which is now in ruins.




Asilo de Huerfanos


On the way to the town center, I noticed a structure from the bridge which I first saw in Tutubi’s blog. This structure was known as the Asilo de HuerfanosThe orphanage began in 1887 after the Augustinians approved a plan to build a new house in Malabon to lodge the orphans of the plague in 1882 which were until then was housed in Madaluyong. 



According to Father Pedro Galende, the orphanage was provided with a printing press, lithography and binding room, spacious halls for shops and laboratories, sewing ans embroidery for girls, and a library. By 1893, the asilo housed 74 orphans and 11 persons in charge of the shops and 12 servants. All were attended by four religious.


When the revolution broke out, the forces of General Emilio Aguinaldo seized the building. The first issues of the La Independencia, the official publication of the revolutionary government, were printed there. In 1899, the building was razed by fire during the Filipino-American War.


Architect Richard Tuason-Bautista, another prime mover in the promotion of Malabon heritage, recommends the Asilo de Huerfanos to be declared a historic site and that the preservation of the structure must be sought. Since at this time the compound is being used as a machine shop, it could peril the structure. It is suggested the possible reuse of the structure to a more similar function as to the original purpose.


This is the third of a six part article. Click here for part 1. Click here to advance to the next post. 


Information source: 

Angels in Stone by Fr. Pedro Galende


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m scared of the “santo” with the “bolo” by the entrance of the church. Like he’s going to strike those who are “erring” in their ways.

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