San Fernando Heritage District

SF 1

As we veered away from NLEX entering San Fernando City, we were greeted by two gigantic malls that stood like sentinels along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (formerly Olongapo-Gapan Road). As the provincial capital of Pampanga, San Fernando has its share in Philippine history. Remnants of a long and colorful past are still intact particularly in the barangays of Sto. Rosario, San Jose and Sto. Niño

The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando

SF 2

 We’ve learned from our travels that one of the best ways to discover a historical district is to visit its church. On the site of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, a wood and thatch church was built by the Augustinians in 1755 under the patronage of King Fernando III of Castille. In 1880, the church was rededicated to the Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion

SF 3

During the Philippine Revolution of 1898, President Emilio Aguinaldo viewed the Philippine Revolutionary Army from the church’s convent. On May 4, 1899, the church and convent as well as the first Casa Municipal located in front of the church were burned under the orders of General Antonio Luna. Another fire destroyed the church in 1939.

SF 4

The current church was designed by Fernando H. Ocampo, the same architect of the reconstructed Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. In 1948, it was elevated to a Cathedral when it became the seat of the Diocese of San Fernando. 


Sotero Baluyot Bridge  

SF 5

Across the Cathedral next to the Municipio is the Baluyot Bridge. Formerly known as Puente Colgante, the iron and stone bridge was destroyed during the Philippine-American War in 1899. An arch bridge of reinforced concrete designed by Sotero Baluyot replaced the old bridge. It was bombed during World War II and has been restored. Today, the bridge is a historic landmark in the city. 

In San Fernando: A City Rich in Architecture Heritage, fellow blogger Ivan Henares provides a comprehensive guide about the history of ancestral houses clustered along Consunji Street and surrounding streets. Taking a calesa in front of the old Pampanga Hotel, we turned to V.Tiomco Street for the Henson-Hizon House.


Henson-Hizon House 

SF 6

The Henson-Hizon House is a Spanish colonial period bahay-na-bato built by the couple Don Saturnino Henson y David, who was gobernadorcillo of San Fernando and first tesorero municipal and Maria Lacson

SF 7

Next to the house is a monument dedicated to the heroic efforts of Nicolasa Dayrit-Panlilio of helping the sick and wounded Filipino fighters during the Filipino-American War. She also became instrumental in neutralizing the dispute between Generals Antonio Luna and Tomas Mascardo.


Lazatin House

SF 8

At the corner of Consunji Street, the Lazatin House stands regal. Built by sugar farmer and former president of SFELAPCO, Don Serafin Lazatin y Ocampo, the ancestral house exemplifies the architecture prevalent during the American Period. During the Second World War, it served as residence of the 14th Army Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army, General Masaharu Homma.


Consunji House

SF 9

Next to the Lazatin House is the residence of Don Antonio Consunji, Gobernadorcillo of San Fernando in 1892, who was removed from office by Spanish authorities because of his presence during the visit to San Fernando of Dr. Jose Rizal. Don Antonio became presidente municipal of San Fernando during the Philppine Revolution from 1898 to 1899. 


Tabacalera House 

SF 10

The Tabacalera House has been declared as an important heritage edifice of San Fernando City. Built for Don Ramon Lopez, the ground floor housed the offices of the Tabacalera. The house was later purchased by Simeon Ocampo. The Japanese Imperial Army appropriated it to serve as headquarters of the Kempeitai (Japanese Police) from 1943 to 1944. 


Hizon-Ocampo House 

SF 11

Leoncia Hizon inherited the house from parents Anacleto Hizon and Victoria Singian de Miranda. She married Basilio Ocampo, gobernadorcillo of San Fernando. Among their children was famous architect Fernando H. Ocampo


Santos-Hizon House 

SF 12

A distinctly Victorian-style house, the Santos-Hizon House was built by the couple Teodoro Santos and Africa Ventura. It was purchased by Maria Salome Hizon, a volunteer of the Red Cross during the Philippine Revolution. The house is currently owned by the heirs of her brother.


Hizon-Singian House 

SF 13

The Hizon-Singian House was the second house of couple Don Anacleto Hizon and Victoria Singian de Miranda y de Ocampo. During the 1896 Revolution, the house was occupied by Spanish General Antonio Ruiz Serralde. It was appropriated by the Japanese Imperial Army to serve as a military hospital and barracks from 1943 to 1944. The house also served as headquarters of American General Walter Krueger of the 6th American army during the liberation period until 1945.    


Cuyugan-Baron House 

SF 14

In Barangay Del Pilar is the Cuyugan-Baron House. Residence of Vivencio Cuyugan y Baron, it was sequestered during the war and served as the Municipal Hall of San Fernando during the Japanese Occupation.


Dizon House

SF 15

Currently owned by Archdiocese of Pampanga, the Archdiocesan Chancery was the former residence of Luis Wenceslao Dizon and Felisa Hizon. It was designed by architect Fernando H. Ocampo and was completed in the mid-1930s. 


Pampanga Provincial Capitol 

SF 16

The original building of the Pampanga Provincial Capitol was constructed shortly after the seat of government of the province of Pampanga was transferred from Bacolor to San Fernando. An important battle between guerilla forces and the Japanese Imperial Army took place in the site during the Second World War. 

At the back of the provincial capitol is the Presidio. Built in 1907, it used to house the courts of Pampanga before it became as Pampanga Provincial Jail. 


Old Provincial High School Building 

SF 17

Completed in 1910, what’s left of the old Pampanga High School Building is its frame. In 1935, the high school was transferred to its present site. It was used as an extension of the school and also served as the site of the University of the Philippines Extension Proogram in San Fernando until floods hit the city in 1995.


San Fernando Train Station 

SF 18

Inaugurated by Governor General Eulogio Despujol and Archbishop of Manila Bernardino Nozaleda on February 23, 1892, the San Fernando Train Station stood witness to historic events. On June 27, 1892, Jose Rizal debarked from the station and the next day en route to Bacolor

SF 19

On April 1942, KM 102 was the ending point of the Bataan Death March. From with Filipino and American prisoners-of-war were hauled to Capaz, Tarlac to Camp O’Donnell.


PASUDECO Sugar Central 

SF 20

The Pampanga Sugar Development Company was formally incorporated in April 1918. It is the first Filipino financed sugar central which became a catalyst for the economic growth of San Fernando as the capital of rich sugar-producing province of Pampanga. 


This is the third part of a series about our Pampanga road trip. Click here for Part 1 –Betis, Part 2 –Bacolor. The tour continues in the City of Angeles.


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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Good resource for San Fernando’s rich heritage is the site (I thought this Henares guy’s Ilongo!). Another good blog is from a friend, read here: […]

  2. Hullo, are the houses accommodating visitors to see what’s inside or is it more of a tour on the street? Thanks!

    • These are private houses Mar. When I documented our tour years ago, I only took shots of the houses from the outside. You can ask the tourism board in San Fernando, if there are any ancestral house open for public viewing.

      • thank you for confirming! we’ll get in touch with the tourism board! Thank you for writing about this place =D

  3. You’ve done a great job !!! We need this type of articles to make our very own Kababayan mindful that we have have such a rich History or rather Heritage as evidenced by such works.
    Thanks!!!! and More power to yoü !!!

  4. My God. Are u a Fernandino? You shots are very recent. I just saw those banners in the Cathedral last Wednesday. You really got nice shots here. I can’t ask for more.

    By the way, I was a former EIC of the English newspaper of Pampanga High School. Just last year, actually. And one of the last articles I was asked to write about (and I remember it is the most tedious yet crammed article I did so it really means a lot) is the National Heritage Sites within the vicinity. Your photographs and write-ups are extensive and really brings a deluge of nostalgia! I suddenly want to go back to high school and be able to rewrite this article:((

    Also, I would like to ask your permission. My project is to compile about historical landmarks and you’ve got lots of pictures of such. May I get some of the pix? I will surely write where I got these pictures but I also want to know the name of the photographer so as to properly add it to and give credit to the photographer. I don’t seem to find your name around here. There are really strict stuffs here in UP. May I?:D

    • Not a problem Lester. For as long as you’ll credit the source as Traveler on Foot. Really I appreciate your effort in asking permission. You’re courteous.

      • Thank you so much! I just finished my report and checked if you have allowed me. Really, thank you. I guess, as a writer, it is always better to ask permission first before using stuffs of others. Again, thank you so much.:D

  5. You should write a guide book… all your posts are well documented and informative… a joy for your readers!

    • Flattered by that feedback Sidney! I wanted to.

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