As has been established here in the Urban Roamer, Pasig is one of the few cities in Metro Manila whose old town center is still quite intact as far as the layout and the presence of heritage in the area.
As far as heritage is concerned, perhaps the most prominent heritage landmark of the old Pasig town center is its church, officially known as the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Pasig, but more popularly known as the Pasig Cathedral, the oldest structure in Pasig.
Its roots could be traced back to July 2, 1573, when the town of Pasig was founded. At the same time, the Augustinian priests established a mission in the town, to introduce and convert the townspeople to the Catholic faith. This mission-parish was originally consecrated to the Visitation of Our Lady. However, in April 25, 1587, the Marian image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception became patroness of the parish, as the image was the patroness of the Augustinian priests during that time.
The first church was built in 1595 but it was burned down by rebelling Chinese migrants in 1639. Rebuilding proceeded at a slow pace until it was completed sometime between 1747 and 1760, Less than a year later, the church fell into the hands of invading British troops who used the church as a garrison of sorts in their campaign against the Spanish forces led by Simon de Anda.
The church remained mostly intact through the centuries, having survived the Philippine Revolution and World War II. However, an earthquake in 1968 (the same one that caused the collapse of Ruby Tower in Manila) caused significant damage to the church belltower, which was subsequently restored in 1980.
In 2003, the Catholic Diocese of Pasig was established which comprised of Pasig, Pateros, and Taguig. The old Pasig Church was chosen to be the seat of the new diocese, becoming known now as the Pasig Cathedral, or officially the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Pasig, the center of the Catholic faith of Eastern Metro Manila.
THE PASIG CATHEDRAL MUSEUM
In addition to the church structure itself, the Pasig Cathedral also enshrines its heritage with a museum which was recently opened to showcase the history of the church and the diocese as a whole.
The museum showcases various items on display such as icons, garments, photos of the old Pasig Church and some of the other churches of diocese. The collection is not that vast but it’s worth checking out considering the rich history of the church and the fact that not many churches have a museum. It also serves as a great addition to the landscape of the historic Pasig town center.
The last time I checked, the museum is open only on Wednesdays and Fridays with a P20 entrance fee. If you happen to be in the area one of those days, it is one place you should visit along with the church itself.
Check out the Pasig Cathedral and the other places visited by the Urban Roamer on the new The Urban Roamer’s Map