There are 21 barangays that comprise the City of Malabon. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit all the barangays there during our little good trip. We did however manage to spend some time walking around one of the city’s most prominent barangays, and also one of the oldest: Brgy. Concepcion, named after the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, to whom the parish was dedicated when it was established in the 19th century.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception in that said barangay was built way back in 1886, making it one of the oldest churches in the city. The church underwent a number of “makeover” changes in recent years, activities that were criticized by many as they did not help preserve the church’s history.
Being a food trip primarily, we explored a number of interesting food stops in this part of Malabon. First of which is one of the oldest bakeries in the city itself: the R.B. Gregorio Bake House but more popularly known by its old name the Concepcion Bakery which until recently used to have an old pugon-type of oven which was used before in baking pandesal, among others. Nevertheless, it’s still a favorite bakery among locals there particularly because of its specialty: their tasty pianono.
We then headed to the what can be called the barangay center of Concepcion, dominated by the presence of the aforementioned Immaculate Conception Church, as well as some interesting heritage structures.
But our real stop there was an eatery called Lugaw ni Onoy. As the name implies, it serves mainly lugaw or porridge. However, its specialty is not much the lugaw but the exotic ones like the Lugaw Mata and Lugaw Utak, which respectively consists of parts from a cow’s eyes and brain. Not to mention a homemade Soup No. 5, the (in)famous dish that has a cow’s testicles for meat.
But if you’re not that comfortable with Onoy’s menu, you can opt for desserts at another Concepcion original, the famous Dolor’s Kakanin which first delighted people in the late 1930’s with its wide array of food choices, in particular native delicacies like the sapin-sapin, ube, biko to name a few. It still is based on its original home along a narrow esquinita near the church.
We were also fortunate to have stopped by another landmark in Concepcion, the Tropicana Studio opened by prominent Malabon photographer Dominador “Ador” Cruz.
What makes this humble little studio so prominent is that it has served as the photo studio of choice of many celebrities over the years, which earned Mang Ador the monicker, “the photographer of stars.” Starting off from him being hired to be the official photographer of the famous LVN film studios, his photo studio has become a gallery/museum of sorts that displayed hundreds of photos of stars from the late 1940’s when he first started up to the early 1990’s.
While Mang Ador has long departed from this world, his children still continue running the business he started. As a little tribute of sorts, before we left, we decided to have a little souvenir of having a group photo on this iconic studio.
To be continued…
Again, thanks to MyMalabon for the additional information.
© The Urban Roamer