At the beginning of the 2oth century, the Metro Manila city of Valenzuela was known before as the rural town of Bulacan called Polo. South of Polo was a bustling fishing town called Malabon, one of the many towns that comprised the then-newly established Province of Rizal. To demarcate the boundary between the two provinces, the American colonial government built in 1910 a stone arch along what was then the main thoroughfare to Northern Luzon. It was no grand structure or anything but it served its purpose. Locally it became known by the name which is how “stone arch” is known in Tagalog: Arkong Bato.
There are questions that are not asked often but never fail to make heads scratch whenever they are asked. One of them being “how did this place get its name?” Today, we will attempt to answer this question with regards to the origins behind the names of the cities and town (yes, as in one town) that comprise Metropolitan Manila. Some of the information that will be shared here may be of common knowledge to some, but it is still worth knowing. Who knows, you may be asked about in in a game show or something. 😉