City of Manila

Bacood untied

Situated along the banks of the rivers Pasig and San Juan, quite removed from the busy and traffic-laden streets of Manila’s Santa Mesa district is a community (more like a subdistrict or a sitio of sorts) known as Bacood. Bacood’s name comes from the Tagalog word “bakood” which would mean either an elevated area or a cane plantation. It has been said that the area back then served as a plantation for various crops. But in the early days, Bacood was known as Cordeleria, a Spanish term for a shop that sells ropes. This was because the place back then was the center of rope-making and selling activity in Manila and in surrounding suburbs. One of those people who owned such a business was a Katipunero named Sancho Valenzuela, who would soon lead a failed assault against the Spaniards at the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1896 and became one of the first martyrs of the Revolution. His memory now since invoked in the naming of the street that leads to Bacood.

DSC01094 Today, there are no traces left of the once-flourishing rope-making industry there, save for a street which is a Tagalog term which meant “a place for ropes:” Lubiran.

Lubiran St.
Lubiran St.

A railway also used to serve Bacood which once traversed to Mandaluyong. (and way before, all the way to Antipolo and Montalban) That line has been abandoned since the 1970’s, with this narrow unnamed street (pictured below) now built over the steel railways, serving as a remnant of Bacood’s railway past. DSC01735 Bacood of today is now is a quiet, residential enclave of sorts, mostly composed of middle class households. One can spend time here marvelling at the architecture put into place for these houses, especially the new ones. DSC01748 DSC01749DSC01738 The eastern part of Bacood has most of its streets named after Tagalog/Filipino words for values like hardworking, (Masikap) strength, (Lakas) purity, (Dalisay) and honor. (Dangal) DSC01736 The western part of Bacood on the other hand has most of its streets here have been named after various justices (magistrados) in the Supreme Court’s history like Cayetano Arellano, (the first Chief Justice) Victorino Mapa, Manuel Araullo, Jose Abad Santos, Mariano Albert, Carlos Imperial, and Ignacio Villamor. DSC01744 Bacood boasts and rich and varied religious heritage. Apart from the Our Lady of Fatima parish which serves the predominantly Catholic population, a Philippine Independent Church parish (Good Shepherd Parish) and a Buddhist temple are also serving the area.

the Tibetan Buddist Karma Kagyu Temple
the Tibetan Buddist Karma Kagyu Temple

Bacood also serves as the home (the”Great Love Campus” as it’s called) of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by a former Buddhist monk in Taiwan. Interestingly, this structure used to be the old Manila Boystown and Girlstown complex, which has now moved to a larger facility in Marikina City. (curiously though it is still being run by the Manila City government) DSC01098 Below is the Bacood Park located along Valenzuela St. The park is located in an awkwarrd place as it looks an island surrounded by roads and seas of vehicles especially during rush hour. DSC01097 There is also a playground, the one known before as the Paraiso ng Batang Maynila. Sure there are slides, seesaws, swings, as well as some roof-covered benches there, but the location of the park may be considered seedy for anyone who is used to the regular open space and green playgrounds. DSC01733 DSC01732DSC01734 Currently, there’s an ongoing construction at the end of Lubiran St. of a bridge that would connect Bacood to Mandaluyong City, sort of a future alternate route to the traffic-laden Sevilla Bridge linking Santa Mesa to Mandaluyong. Let’s just hope this gets finished soon for the sake of commuters such as myself who have been suffering the traffic there for so long. DSC01741 That concludes this Urban Roamer’s Bacood adventure. I know there’s not much to see in the place, but as this post has shown, the place has a colorful history of its own that I hope present and future generations will learn to appreciate. Till the next roaming adventure. ©The Urban Roamer

26 Comments

  • Boy Pasion

    I spent my best younger years in bacood. Lots of good memories. I would no be where i’m at right now if it wasn’t for all that good memories. I will forever treasure it.

    Thank you,
    Boy Pasion

  • Edward Victoria

    We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.” Bacood is the place where I had lots of good memories growing up, happy childhood (70’s), great friends and loving neighbors. It was a perfect place to live.

    My dream is to go back one day and reminisce the good old days.

    Salamat!
    Ed Victoria

  • rudy nabong

    sir, We were driving around manila yesterday and I noticed that the park PARAISO NG BATANG MAYNILA is still there. Sir, i’m glad to have found you on line, you said we all have our time machines and its called memories, indeed your are right , I was there on the OPENING DAY with my younger brother and sister and had such agay time at that park they dont even remember, but i do. My sister and my brother were the two very young kids with then mayor Villegas in the front cover of a magazine on the opening day of the park. Sir, i’m just wondering if you can help me find out what date it was when they innaugurated the park and also on how i may get a copy of the magazine. The two of them are coming to vacation here in Philippines from San Francisco , Please help

  • Charlie Park

    Ahhh good memories of where we grew up. Lots of friends and relatives now migrated here in the U.S. and Canada. All, from Bacood, now successful!

  • Chito Geronimo

    Lots of good memories,when it was still untouched by development and progress.(When it was still quiet neighborhood) It was nice haven for poets,writers and artists alike.It was a small peninsula isolated from city noise enveloped by the two rivers-san juan and pasig,where your only access to Kalentong,Mandaluyong/Santa Ana were riding a boat plied by Bacood locals.Bacood culture all its own.I’m proud to be a part of it.

  • rose manalese morris

    I really like this, it took me to the place where I was born and grew up, I know Bacood as of now is not the same as it was then, but still the memories of my childhood left in there, I still have cousins and friends that are still living in Bacood…. when you see the development from before, you can see he big changes, but still you can reminisque the past when you were there, thanks for this I come to appreciate were I came from, the place where I was born and proud to say that Bacood will remain in my heart.

  • Luchie Hinayon

    i love Bacood. Thank you for sharing the history of Bacood. Di ko din kasi alam kung bakit Lubiran ang tawag doon sa kalyeng pinanggalingan ko. Ngayon alam ko na. Now, I appreciate it more. Before when I write my address it is simply Lubiran st., Sta. Mesa Manila, pero ngayon isasama ko na ang Bacood palagi. Ewan ko nga baka kung bakit tinatanggal ko ito. Ang tiyaga mo ding mag-research ano? Muli maraming salamat!!!

  • Themis Maroket

    i was born in bacood in yr 57 my mother aurora lazaro maroket in yr 32. my grandfaher primo andres lazaro in yr 1901 my great grandfather raymundo we forgot the yr . on the ave. was born sometime in the yr 1880. my mother used to fish n wash clothes in the san juan now colored black! he he . mabuhay ang pilipino ! i themis lazaro maroket with my mom going on 80 and most of my relatives is still in bacood.

  • Endee Kristel Lim

    Hi! I find this write-up really helpful since I’m doing an assignment about the origin of Bacood. I’d just like to ask where you got the information because I need to cite sources. I’d really appreciate a response. Thank you! 🙂

  • Rod Ornos

    I was born in Bacood, salamat sa sharing mo. ngayon ko lang nalaman ang alamat ng sinilangan kong lugar, napakaganda nga pala kahit, mula ako sa tawag nilang squatter area, ang lugar ng cordeleria. Pero ipinagmamalaki kong ako’y tunay na taga bacood. doon ako natutu kung paano makipagkapwa tao at matakot sa diyos. Kahit saan ako makarating ipagmamalaki kong ako’y taga cordeleria, Bacood, Sta. Mesa, Manila. Maraming salamat po. And more more more power. God Bless Bacood.

  • Andy Park

    It’s nice to remember our ‘gang’ Familia Capos who were like brothers and sisters back then singing in the church choir with Father Reyes. Most are here in California or Canada. Dekada namin! 1970…..

  • ruth

    My whole primary years finished at Bacood Elem School and I graduated my secondary at Elpidio Quirino High School…. i had so much memories in Bacood.

  • obet

    ang sarap balik-balikan ang iyong pinanggalingan. dito ako kami pinanganak lahat na magkakapatid…at kahit di na ako nakatira dito, bumabalik pa rin ako para kumain ng lugaw malapit sa Fatima Church…masarap pagmasdan ulit ang pinagdadausan ng piyesta sa tapat ng Pulis station dahil ang saya-saya dun sapagkat may mga kantahan at dun din nagtitipon-tipon ang aking mga kaibigan…iba ka talaga BACOOD..sarap mong balik-balikan…

  • joel federigan

    masaya at maganda talaga dito sa bacood, dito ako pinanganak at lahat kami ay nadito pa kabilang na ang pamilyang federigan, natatandaan kopa nung araw na malinis pa ang san juan river at ako ay nanghuhuli pa nga isda, ang paraiso lalo na ang balyena, pati na rin ang patay na riles na sa tuwing alas tres ng hapon ay aming inaabangan upang magpasagasa ng beite singko sentimos, at ang pagtulay papuntang kalentong, mabuhay ka bacood!!!

  • Z Yuson

    I think the Manila Boystown in Marikina is different from the former occupants of the Great Love Campus which was the Sisters of Mary Girlstown and Boystown.

  • tagabacood

    hahaha payong-payong plato cherry ann–used to walk drunk along the streets of these places mentioned

    the 2 basketball half-courts along Lubiran ext are missed. thanks for the construction of the bridge connecting to mandaluyong…now, when you wake up during regular work days, long queue of traffic along Lubiran in the morning-afternoon-evening rush-hours ..

  • jon

    78-83, lived in Bacood, last Apt. tinirahan namin sa may kanto ng Katuwiran st. Still remember my friends and classmates from Bacood elem school, Dominic Ponce, Carlos Macapagal and my first crush Linald Marquez. I saw our old pictures of Bacood ay napakalinis, neighbor namin I remember ,FLOREZ , Mommy, Melendrez.

    Favorite bakery was St.Rose, namamalengke kami sa pagtawid ng Ilog by Bangka.

    Can not forget Bacood, best place we lived .

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