With its small land area, it would easy to dismiss outright Pateros and what this town has to offer, save for its well-known duck-raising and balut industry. While Pateros prides itself for such a distinction, it would be disingenuous to say that it is only thing going for this town. In fact, even with its size, Pateros has some surprises in store of its own.
In particular, we shall see here that Pateros has a vibrant industry beyond duck-raising, as well as some remnants of a rich heritage that still exist in this part of the metropolis.
THE ALFOMBRAS OF PATEROS
Walking along the sidewalks of the town’s streets, one notices engraved on the sidewalk floor images of a duck and a pair of slippers. The duck is self-explanatory but you may be wondering about the slippers. Well that represents Pateros’ other homegrown industry which is manufacturing footwear. Or to be specific, a type of slippers with carpeted soles called alfombra. (which itself is a Spanish word for carpet)
It is said that it was the Chinese who introduced the industry to the town centuries ago that has evolved into colorful pieces of footwear thanks to the ingenuity and talent of the Filipino footwear makers in the town.
As with the balut, the alfombra is one of Pateros’ most enduring products that townsfolk are proud of. You cannot escape seeing these colorful alfombras as you roam around the town, with some establishments there exclusively selling alfombras.
Over the years, Pateros has seen many changes in its landscape, most especially the unavoidable urbanization of the town. Nevertheless, it is good to see that not only Pateros has managed to retain its old character, it has also managed to somewhat successfully ward off the decay urbanization tends to bring.
There is also the remaining heritage that has been preserved and valued in this town. I’ve mentioned in a previous entry about the memorials to its heroes and their heroism. In addition, there are the few ancestral houses that have survived, particularly along the M. Almeda, the main thoroughfare in the town.
Notable among these houses is the Concio Ancestral House, considered as the oldest surviving edifice of Pateros. Built between 1907 and 1908, it belonged to Feliciano Concio, a Pateros council member and politician during the late 19th and early 20th century, and his wife Matea Rosales-Concio, a schoolteacher who was also known as Maestrang Tayang.
If the surname Concio sounds familiar, it is because they are actually the parents of a renowned Filipino architect Cesar Concio Sr. who designed a number of landmark structures such as the the Melchor and Palma Halls at the University of the Philippines Diliman, the Insular Life Building in Makati, and the Baclaran Church. And Cesar Concio in return is the late father-in-law of the president of ABS-CBN, the actress and host Charo Santos-Concio.