Santa Ana Revisited

It has been a while since the Urban Roamer last visited the historic district of Santa Ana in Manila. At that time, the series was written based on the Urban Roamer’s scant knowledge of district as gathered from third party sources.

Over time, I have gotten to learn some new things about this district, most especially recently thanks to my interaction with people who know a great deal about the district itself, not to mention the opportunity to explore more in depth at least parts of it thanks to my work as a volunteer for the Cultural Heritage Mapping Project of Wikimedia Philippines supported by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

That opportunity came in the occasion of a recent Wikiexpedition  (not to be confused with the one) which was focused on mapping the different heritage landmarks around the district, also known as a whole as the Santa Ana Heritage Zone. Volunteers were assigned a specific part of the district to map out and document, not to mention explore some other sights along the way. Continue reading


Punta and the Iglesia Ni Cristo

To those who happened to have read my previous roaming adventure in Punta, I mentioned this particular landmark well-preserved in its pre-war glory. I wasn’t able to further check it out the last time. Thankfully I got to correspond with the landmark’s curator, who was able to arrange a schedule for a visit to see what’s inside.


This is the Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum at Punta, which was the first formal place of worship for the Philippine Christian group the Iglesia Ni Cristo. (INC) While, the structure itself was built in 1937, there was already a deep connection between the INC and Punta, going way back to the establishment of the INC in  July 1914 by its founder Felix Manalo, (after whom the narrow street along the museum was named after) Continue reading


new landmarks rising in Santa Ana

Folks as our Santa Ana series is about to close for now, (I will be roaming back there from time to time) I thought it would be interesting to share with you some new landmarks springing out in the area lately. All in the name of the district’s urbanization which is hopefully for the better rather than for the ruin of this historic district.

sta ana new

Inaugurated just last April 28 is the new Santa Ana Hospital, a district hospital built by the Manila City Government with the help of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation of Lucio Tan. Actually Lucio Tan happens to have owned the land the hospital was built on and gave the land as a donation to the city government for the hospital to be built. (with that I would rather not go into the controversies surrounding the building of the hospital vis-a-vis the Century Park Hotel sale) Originally the City Government (still getting the yellow fever madness) wanted to name the hospital after the late former President Corazon Aquino, just as it did in renaming the Lambingan Bridge found a kilometer or so away. But reportedly, the Tan Yan Kee Foundation was more keen in naming the hospital after Lucio Tan’s mother or father. So it seems both parties made a consensus to keep things simple so to speak. Continue reading


the heritage of Santa Ana (part II)

As was mentioned before, Santa Ana’s overlooked heritage flavor is a tourism goldmine of sorts waiting to be utilized fully, thanks to a number of Spanish and American-era architecture that still defines the area. If the houses along Plaza Hugo are not enough for examples, you can also find some old, grand, and, sadly, some dilapidated houses right across the plaza, along the vicinity of Old Panaderos St. If you’re hungry, you won’t find any bakeries here, unfortunately. However this area was once before the place where bakers live and/or ply their business during the Spanish times. I’m not sure if the old houses still standing in the area once belonged to some baker there. With the pictures below, one can imagine how much potential these houses have as crowd-drawers of sorts, given the proper maintenance and attention.



Continue reading


the treasures at Santa Ana Church

If there’s one imposing and most important landmark the district of Santa Ana, Manila is proud of, it would be the Church of the Our Lady of the Abandoned, but more popularly known as Santa Ana Church.


Its origins actually date back in 1578, when the Franciscan missionaries established themselves at the old community of Namayan, once part of a kingdom bearing the same name. The Franciscans first built a small church near a brook, which they dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary, St. Anne. And old Namayan became Santa Ana de Sapa, the first Franciscan mission built outside Intramuros, AKA Old Manila. Continue reading