When was the last time that you went around Metro Manila to discover its nooks and not just its malls? Better yet… how well do you know the city where you live in?
Metro Manila is the Philippines’ center for governance, commerce, education, culture, and religion. It is no wonder that a lot of Filipinos dream on getting into the city life of the metro as it may give common Filipinos that notion that life here in Metro Manila is better or promises to be better. Established in 1975, Metro Manila ranks 7th in the most populous metro in Asia.
But Metro Manila has different faces to show and that is what we wanted to discover with project “Explore Manila!” The project aims to give our readers and followers a different look of metro through a series of photowalks covering the 16 cities and lone municipality. Hopefully, we can give you a different side of Metro Manila, one that is softer and more sublime.
Mandaluyong City was originally known as Sta. Ana de Sapa, a barrio under the province of Tondo. It was during the Spanish period that it was excised from Sta. Ana de Sapa to form a separate community known as San Felipe Neri, in honor of Rome’s Patron Saint.
Mandaluyong is a main stronghold of the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution of 1896. A successful uprising in San Felipe Neri on August 1896 eventually led to the Battle of San Juan del Monte after Katipuneros attacked El Polvorin. It briefly became the provincial capital of Rizal province during the American period – a period where a number of government infrastructures were built.
The post-war era brought in a lot of progress to the city. The city was later recognized as the most developed municipality after businesses boomed in Mandaluyong. Presently, Mandaluyong City is known as “The Tiger City of the Philippines” and is the home of big corporations like San Miguel Corporation and UNILAB.
Join us in exploring Mandaluyong City!
Liwasang Katubusan (Kalentong Street)
Sitting in the midst of a busy street is a memorial that honors the silent heroes of the city who fought for freedom during World War 2. This was where our #PencilWalks started and it did pave the mood of our exploration. Mandaluyong have a lot of monuments that honors freedom fighters and these “bantayog” show clearly how freedom-loving Mandaluyong residents are.
The Liwasang Katubusan is just right in front of “The Market”. It features a female figure with her hand outstretched and reaching towards the sky – a symbolic movement for freedom. The memorial happens to also stand beside Don Bosco Technical College, a former seminary that served as a Japanese headquarters during occupation.
Getting there: You can take a Kalentong-bound jeep along Shaw Boulevard and asked to be dropped off at “The Market”
Plaza ng Tatlong Bayani (Hagdang Bato Itaas)
Tucked along a residential area of Mandaluyong is another monument that honors three heroes, two of them hails from Mandaluyong. The “Plaza ng Tatlong Bayani” is a tribute to Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan, Laureano Gonzales, and Vicente Leyva, more popularly known as General Kalentong. Both Gonzales and Leyva hail from the city.
The small compound where the monument is seated also features a small church, a barangay hall, and a basketball court.
Getting there: From Kalentong, take a jeep bound for Boni and ask the driver to drop you off at the Barangay Hall of Hagdang Bato Itaas.
San Felipe Neri Church
The San Felipe Neri Church is one of the oldest churches in Metro Manila. The church is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Rome. Apart from being the center of faith, the church has also been a site of bloody skirmishes between Philippine revolutionaries and Spanish forces. The church is now a peaceful sanctuary as it stands out amidst the rows of buildings and houses around it.
The pointed belfries and its simple architectural design is a sight to see amidst the cityscape. It is a welcome sight to enjoy. Unfortunately, we were not able to enter the church as it was closed.
Getting there: From Plaza ng Tatlong Bayani, you can take a jeep headed for Boni and asked to be dropped off at San Felipe Neri Church.
Dambana ng Alaala
Located within the vicinity of the Maysilo Circle is another monument dedicated to the freedom fighters of Mandaluyong – Dambana ng Alaala. The monument features “Inang Kalayaan” with her hands raised up victoriously while freedom-fighting soldiers and Katipuneros surround her.
The monument is just one of the many memorials in the city that shows the valuable role played by Mandaluyong in the search for freedom against Spanish oppression.
Getting there: From San Felipe Neri Church, you can take a jeep to Boni and asked to be dropped off Maysilo Circle.
Bantayog ng Kabataan
The city of Mandaluyong is one city that recognizes the past, present, and the future through monuments that also showcase the works of artists. It seems that these monuments are statements of the city government on what the city values.
The Bantayog ng Kabataan is one of the monuments along Maysilo Circle that focuses on the city’s future. Unlike other monuments in the city that focuses on recognizing the contribution of Mandaluyong to the country’s rich history, the “Bantayog ng Kabataan” is a clear statement on recognizing the role of the youth on the city’s progress.
The monument shows a lady carrying the flame of hope as she is surrounded by kids signifying the need to guide the youth to become future leaders of a progressive city and nation.
Getting there: The “Bantayog ng Kabataan” is a just a walk away from “Dambana ng Alaala”.
Kaban ng Hiyas
As you enter the Mandaluyong City Hall complex from the “Bantayog ng Kabataan”, visitors will be greeted by a three-storey building known as the “Kaban ng Hiyas”. It is the city’s cultural center that houses a convention hall and a historical museum. It is part of the city government’s efforts to raise cultural awareness among its constituents.
The interiors of the hall looked really nice but the building needs a little more upkeep to keep its grand look. The interiors probably looked really nice when it was first constructed but I think that the building needs a facelift. It would have been nice to capture a shot of the staircase and the fountain had it been working.
What caught my attention was the youth choir that was having their rehearsals at the time of our visit. I loved the fact that these kinds of activities are promoted by the local government.
Getting there: Kaban in Hiyas is within the compound the Mandaluyong City Hall Complex.
Mandaluyong City Hall Complex
Open air pocket parks intertwined with government city structures make up the compound of the Mandaluyong City Hall. The compound was serene and peaceful as it was a Saturday when we visited when most of the government agencies are closed.
What stands out is the blue windows of the city hall and its emblem that symbolizes the city as the “Tiger City of the Philippines”. The compound is the central point for all government transactions in the city.
Dove of Peace Arch
The entrance to the cityhall compound is flanked by a monument that is the city’s offering to commemorate the EDSA Revolution. The monument is that of a dove mounted on a platform that shows the significant events of the bloodless revolution in 1986.
Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy
Just a few meters from the compound is another spiritual haven in the heart of Mandaluyong - The Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy. The church is also located within the premises of the Maysilo Circle.
The exterior design of the church is simple, modern, and homey. From the outside, it looks like an elegant home with a driveway. It does look like a sanctuary in the midst of the city. The interior is simple and elegant with its white-washed walls. It was really homey and solemn inside the church.
It is a great quick spiritual escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Foodstop: Kanto Breakfast
It was not my first time to try out Kanto Breakfast but it was my first time to try out there Mandaluyong Branch. The restaurant has been making rounds because of its all-day breakfast offerings, served with of a touch class. The restaurant also has a homey atmosphere since it was a house converted into a restaurant. One of our fellow viajero shared that the place turns into a small bar over the weekend. I guess, it is something worth checking out in the future.
Compared to other cities that we have already explored, Mandaluyong City was one city that was closely in touch with its colorful history as evidenced by the various monuments installed in the different areas of the city. It is closely in touch with how colorful its history and in the development of its young artists. The city is void of historical sites but that did not stop the local government from reliving its history among its constituents.
Notwithstanding its colorful history, Mandaluyong City is also the home of large malls that is worth its own day exploration.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.