Malabon Heritage Houses


In the olden days, Malabon was not only made famous for its skillful knife makers,  but also for its big tobacco factory located in barrio La Concepcion. According to Fr. Pedro Galende, the factory was built in front of the El Portillo de Embajadores. During its heyday, it employed more than 5,000 women in their 101,126 square feet workshop. It is said during work hours only the metallic monotonous sound of the scissors could be heard.

On my visit to Malabon, I went to find out about the site of the factory but no one from the town could remember the name of the factory not even that image of a girl, dressed in colorful attire, a wicker basket on her arm and a smile on her face that once became a famous character known as the La Cigarrera de Malabon.

As a traveler, serendipity has always led me to other discoveries. In Malabon I’ve met Ruben Gastor, an old timer who was once a member of a house wrecking crew. He led me to barangays Concepcion and Baritan to see the surviving period houses.  

First stop was the parish church of barangay Concepcion. It was originally a visita in the 1600’s. In 1886, the existing structure was erected. The Aglipayans took possession of the church in 1904 and was returned the Roman Catholics in 1906. The church was once a vacation house of the Augustinians.

In front of Concepcion Church is the Farmacia Borja. Built in 1923 following the art nouveau fashion of the time, the house is maintained by the descendants of the Rojas-Borja Family. This house is one of the few well-maintained ancestral houses in Malabon.

Benedicto Luna House of the Santos-Luna family is a three storey house built in the 1900s. The house located at General Luna cor. Paez Sts. Baragay Conception. Unfortunately, the house is abandoned.

The 1881 Lapuz House of Lapuz-Lazaro family has a high-pitched galvanized iron roof system in wooden trusses.


Cayco House on C. Arellano St. cor. T. Santos, Barangay Baritan is a 1920s two-storey Filpino colonial period Ilustrado House. It is known to be the only one of its kind in the whole town in terms of the very unique designs and structure that is not the usual house one can see in Malabon.

In front of the Cayco house is the original century-old Rufina Patis manufacturing plant.

David Ignacio House is a 1930s two storey Filipino colonial period Ilustrado house. It is described to have an ornate carving in the interior. The front of the house is immediately along C. Arellano St. and to its rear is a river.

The charming façade of the Luna House is apparently well-maintained. Built in the 1910s, it was formerly owned by the Lao-Luna that was later sold to the Teodoros.

Next to the well-preserved Luna House is another Luna House in a desperate state. Built in the 1890s, the two storey colonial period house has traces of art nouveau elements. Some locals say that the house has rooms with ceiling paintings allegedly done by Fernando Amorsolo.  

Raymundo House is the presumed as the oldest house in Malabon. Built in 1861, the two storey structure has a ground floor stone wall and 2nd floor wood and stone walls. What made this bahay-na-bato standout is its Hapsburg Eagle inscribed above the adobe gateway. 

This the fourth of a five part article. Click here for part 1. Click here to advance to the next post.


Information source:

Angels in Stone by Father Pedro Galende, OSA

Research work by Richard Tuason-Bautista and Monchet Lucas



The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you so much for this. I was born and bred in Tonsuya, Malabon and it’s amazing to know that these houses still exists. I somehow feel that the Malabon government is wasting all these “wealth” by not making them a tourist attraction of some sort. So much history is being wasted.

  2. My Lola Margarita Salamanca is from Tunsuya, Malabon.
    What I know is that she’s formerly a cigar factory
    worker. Thanks for the memories…Mabuhay !

  3. Thanks for all the nice photos of our beloved place it reminds me of my found memories of my youth and in particular the Cayco house which is owned by Lolo Molong as they called him,(RIP).My dad said we are related as we lived in nearby street in Kuatro Kantos.
    I still rememember his feature as very lean spanish looking guy that always get angry then when we splashed water in their steel door makeshift brige as we batted in their well (balon )inside the T.Santos St of which at the end is their vacant lot , that my uncle mentioned still being haunts with erry ghost feeling till this day.(the foul smell of urine of an old lady they call “Bekang”, an old household who died in the place.) you can also check the Vabiosa Residence and their Kamalig of Malabon Patis, as is it is also a heritage house in Bonifacio St in West Baritan, I remember i was bycycling inside the residence to bring launch and miryenda to my uncle and aunts who were workers of the patisan for long time.

  4. I was born and grew up in Malabon. My parents was married at Concepcion Church and I was also baptized there. Never knew that there are still well-maintained ancestral houses in Malabon.
    I thought those houses was already ruined by constant flooding.
    The pictures are great. pero sana nakunan din yung loob ng houses para mas maganda!

    • A number of heritage houses in flood-prone Malabon are well-kept ethel. Thanks to the culture and heritage conscious owners.

      But like any other houses, they are still private residences. hence we didn’t see what’s inside.

  5. I would like to join the Malabon Heritage Tour. May I know when the next one will be held and how do I register?

    I used to live in the Concepcion area and always marvelled at the heritage houses there, especially Borja House which we would see whenever we went to Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church. We used to have such a wonderful sweeping side view of the Borja House from across the street because of the open air plaza beside it. But now the view has been obstructed by a covered court and a barangay hall. Local officials have no regard at all for these gems of Malabon’s glorious past. Neither do local clergy, for that matter, as evidenced by the renovations done on San Bartolome Church and the Immaculate Conception Church.

    • I did a do-it-yourself tour in Malabon Cecile M. I have no idea about the schedule of the Heritage Tour.

  6. I was born in Malabon, but now live in the states.

    I was merely satisfying my curiosity by searching “Malabon City” on Wikipedia and saw this blog foot noted.

    I love history and architecture and so this is fascinating to read! Thank you!

    • Malabon was amazing E. Lucas. We love Filipino history and architecture are well.

  7. npakagnda aman ng tanawin sarap pntahan ahhhhh

  8. hi! do you have pics of the concepcion church?

  9. each and everyday since i was little, i always have been fascinated seeing these houses everyday. we live near here and everyday we see these. and my old grandfolks are still living in our ancestral house. but not this old houses you’ve posted.
    i miss malabon. we now reside in qc. but we still go there every weekend to visit.

  10. Hi,

    I am a student researching women in Malabon. I have been trying to find sources with information about the Malabon cigar factory, and I have found very little. Where did you find the number of female workers at the cigar factory? If you know where I can find any information (books, newspapers, etc.), I would be very grateful for anything that you would share. Maraming salamat po.

    Best Regards,

  11. the tobacco factory that you are referring to, could be the “la Princesa” which was located at Hulo, Malabon, where the Malabon Municipal Elementary and High School now stands. this was owned by the crown of Spain. Also there were numerous cigar factories in Malabon. Other houses (the silong) were also rented then, as an extension of these cigar manufacturers.

    • Glad to hear from you Richard. I’ve been looking for you some months ago for a tour of Malabon. I did a do it yourself tour during the last San Bartolome fiesta.

      I’ve met Monchet when I’ve dined in at Pescadores. He told me everything I need to know about Malabon. He even provided me visual materials and info which he told me you have researched. I really appreciated that tour of Malabon.

  12. I was also quite surprise to find out for myself that there are a number of well preserved old houses in this area lawstude. To think that they have been soaked most of the time in water due to the perennial flooding, still this houses stood the test of nature.

    I will check out the polls in your blog. We ‘re for whatever will make you happy.

  13. wow. i never knew malabaon has these ancestral houses to offer. they could give some streets in vigan a run for their money. i just really hope that they continue to maintain these.

    by the way, if it isn’t too much to ask (kakapalan ko na mukha ko), i am nominated in this pinoyworld blog contest and i need votes. please check the poll in my blog and vote for LAWSTUDE. thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: