The birthplace of Felix Manalo

It’s been a while since the Urban Roamer has visited a place related to the history of Iglesia Ni Cristo. And as the Iglesia Ni Cristo is set to celebrate its 106th anniversary this month, it’s an opportunity to write about a place related to this denomination, or more specifically its founder Felix Manalo.

This particular place is right at the heart of Taguig, which is not the posh and spacious Fort Bonifacio area that many associate it with these days. In particular, this is in the densely-populated Barangay Calzada near Tipas. Right in the middle of the row of tightly-packed houses stands an open space. Though not really open since it is gated with a guard on duty too. Which gives an impression that it seems to be an important spot, and it is as you’ll learn later.

Right in the middle of this open space is a marker installed by the National Historical Commission, which stands as a reminder of the structure that once stood there. You see, it is said to be the former site of the Manalo-Ysagun ancestral house, and it was here where Felix Manalo Ysagun (later changing his name to Felix Ysagun Manalo), the founder of the Philippine Christian denomination Iglesia ni Cristo, was born.

At the moment, there is not much to see in this area though there are rumors that the INC may put up a museum there in the future. As someone who has already visited the INC museum in Punta and the one in Central (before the larger museum was opened which I need to visit as soon as this pandemic passes), it will be interesting to see if ever the museum concept the INC would have in mind.

Even as it exists today as a gated, open space, its presence is something that stands out even in a congested urban environment like this one. If anything, it illustrates the dominant presence of an Iglesia Ni Cristo landmark.

Special thanks to the Taguig Heritage Society and the City Government of Taguig for the opportunity to visit this place as part of a heritage tour conducted last February 29, 2020

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