Thursday, November 6, 2014

Malabon : A Tour on a City Once Named as Tambobong

Sapin-Sapin from the famous Dolor's Kakanin
I have always been visiting Malabon City since I was a child because our relatives live at its northeasternmost part, near the city's boundary with Valenzuela where an "arkong bato" can be found. Said "arkong bato" bears the name "Bulacan" on one side and "Rizal" on another side, a concrete evidence that once upon a time, Malabon City was once a part of the province of Rizal, and Valenzuela, of Bulacan. That was the only part of Malabon I have been to until last October 6, 2014. An invitation from a travel blogger friend (Jun De Dios of Lakwatserong Opis Worker), and the subsequent tour of the town, changed the way I see Malabon. 

San Bartolome Church. Malabon Church.
Malabon is an old town and it is very evident in many things. For one, it was a part of the Old Tondo province and have been in existence even in the early years of Spanish Occupation when it was still called "Tambobong" (tambobong is the name of a specie of bamboo abundant at the place at that time). The town's parish has recently celebrated its 400 years of foundation, which means that the town is already existent as early as 1614 (and maybe, prior to that). I have just read Malabon's historicity in history books and was not expecting that there are still many remnants of those history still existing in the city.

Malabon City Hall.
Together with my constant gala companion April, as well as Manong Unyol, Jun and newly met friend MJ, I had a walking-tricycle-jeep tour of Malabon. Our first stop is the Malabon City Proper where the Church of San Bartolome can be found as well as the somewhat misplaced city hall. The Church of San Bartolome is actually the Town Church of Malabon, and has been built in the year 1871. More details and photos of San Bartolome Church can be found here (post will be available later). 

Concepcion Church. Malabon City.
We also visited the other 2 historical churches of Malabon aside from the town church, the churches of Barrio Concepcion and Dampalit. Concepcion Church bears a National Historical Institute (NHI) Marker chronicling its history since its foundation. It was a smaller church compared to the Church of San Bartolome but is equally historic. More details and photo of Concepcion Church can be found here : CONCEPCION CHURCH, MALABON 

Sto. Rosario Church. Dampalit, Malabon City.
The Sto. Rosario Church presently has a modern design brought about by renovation works in the recent years. Though its old look is now gone, it is fortunate that details about the church is still available. Its exact foundation as a visita of Tambobong is not certain though according to the marble marker inside the church, the following words are etched in one of the church's Spanish-era bell : "DEVOTO DE NTRA. SRA. DEL ROSARIO ANO 1860". The year 1860 would then put the establishment of the visita around or earlier than that year. The marble marker also indicated that in 1902, the church was taken over by the Aglipayans but was returned to the Catholic Church in 1907. It also says that the church served as a Japanese military garrison in World War II making it not only a heritage church but also a historically significant one.

An ancestral house in Malabon.
Aside from visiting Malabon's historic churches, we also had the chance to pass by many ancestral and old houses while having a walking tour from the town proper to Barangay Concepcion. There are actually plenty of old houses still existing in Malabon wherein some are in excellent condition while many evidently needs restoration or already in ruined state. Many more Malabon Ancestral Houses can be found here (post will be available next week).

Triangle. A Modified Turon.
And last but not the least, we were able to experience the many heavenly food the town of Malabon is very known for! We had Pancit Malabon, Pichi-pichi, Sapin-sapin, and Crispy Pata. We also had a taste of a merienda item called "triangle", a modification of the usual turon where pinipig and bits of langka are added. To see more of Malabon food, you may visit here: EXPERIENCING MALABON FOOD

Malabon is a very interesting place, that's what I learned after the tour. The city may be known because of the flooding it experiences yearly (and almost monthly...), but it is not always about that. Malabon is more of its history, its people... and its food. :)

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. Sana may napasok tau isa sa old houses sayang hehehe...

  2. Pasensta naman, di ako gaanong kalakas sa city hall hahahah!

    1. Oks lng, bawi tayo next time... hehehe...

  3. peboryt ko yan pancit malabon! :)

  4. Hi. Ask ko lang po kung pwede ba pasukin yung mga old houses sa malabon?

    1. Good day po! Unfortunately, sa labas lamang po kami at hindi nakapagtanong sa mga may-ari kung maaari po bang pasukin...