The historic Pasig town center, Part 1

The City of Pasig may mean many things to a lot of people, both positive and negative in aspects. Unfortunately, the heritage of this city is something not many people know nor talk about. Unfortunate indeed as Pasig has a very interesting history and some impressively preserved heritage that add color to this part of the metropolis that doesn’t get that much attention, especially when it comes to heritage.

Pasig poblacion
Pasig’s poblacion area today and the barangays that comprise it

Pasig’s rich history should not come as a surprise given its long history which stretched way back from the pre-colonial period as one of the kingdoms located near the banks of the river and being one of the earliest settlements established by the Spanish in 1573. Today, the original Pasig settlement has grown and now encompasses at least five barangays of the greater Pasig that we know today: Bagong Katipunan, Kapasigan, Malinao, San Nicolas, and San Jose. While commercialization of Pasig’s poblacion or town center is a given and inevitable, one would be surprised to find out the presence of heritage in the areas, thanks to a number of preserved houses dating back to the Spanish era particularly in Barangays Kapasigan and San Jose.

from what I gathered, this is known as the Raymundo House, possibly of the Raymundo family of Pasig who have been active in Pasig politics since the Spanish era
the Guanio house which once was known as the Cuarteles del Guardia Civil or barracks of the civil guards which kept the peace during the Spanish era.
not a heritage building for sure, but it’s nice to see some buildings employ consciousness in respecting the heritage of the area

The oldest of these houses is one called by locals as the “Bahay na Tisa” or “tile-roofed house.” Built by Don Cecilio Tech y Cabrera in the early 1850s, unfortunately the tile roofs were destroyed during World War II, so they had to be replaced with asbestos roofing instead. The house served various purposes over the years: a barangay hall and a place for political meetings during the Marcos era, even used as backdrop for various films and TV shows. The Pasig government has conferred on it recently the “Dangal ng Pasig” award for its cultural significance and its contribution to the city’s history.


Nearby along the main road is another imposing heritage structure which was formerly a mansion built in the  1930s by the family of a former Pasig mayor Fortunato Concepcion. Once also served as a Japanese garrison of sorts, it now serves as the home of the Pasig City Museum.


Right across the museum is the Plaza Rizal, named in honor of the Philippines’ national hero and also in honor of Pasig’s status before as the capital of the province that bears the hero’s name. It was recently renovated and beautified as part of the celebrations of Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary which was commemorated in 2011.

the statue of Jose Rizal which, interestingly, was not originally part of the plaza until the 1960’s
Plaza Rizal

If you ever get hungry, try walking a few blocks away and you will get to see an almost-century old bakery or panaderia called the Dimas-Alang (or Dimasalang) Bakery, which by itself is a well-loved Pasig institution of sorts. It is said to be the first and oldest Pasig bakery, opened in 1919 by Ambrosio Lozada, who also happens to be a father of an internationally-known violinist of the era, Carmencita Lozada. It also bears a Rizal connection as the bakery got its name from one of Rizal’s pen names which meant “untouchable.”


As with any other bakery here, pandesal is the most popular staple here, but you can find some other interesting products like the “aglipay,” “bonete,” and one with a very interesting name, the “di ko akalain” or translated roughly means “I never thought…”

unfortunately, the “di ko akalain” was unavailable when I went to the bakery the last time so I contented myself with a snapshot of the bakery interiors

to be continued…

Acknowledgements to the City Government of Pasig and MyPigafetta blog.

© The Urban Roamer


  • Steev ting

    Dimas-alang… I’m no expert in language or literature but it occurred to me the hyphen seems to be in the wrong place.
    If I say, “I can’t feel it” it would be some thing like “Hindi ko ma-sala(t)” moving to “it can’t be felt” would be “hindi ma-sala” then evolving to “di-masalang” to refer to as untouchable.
    But such are errors in history that create possible scenarios in our imagination as to how it happened.
    A subdivision near me has streets named “Agham” & “Sining”. Two streets intersecting it are “Aliw-iw” (which makes me think the typist forgot he typed the last syllable already. I’ve made that mistake more than once when typing reports). The second street us “Saloysoy” (which may be another common mistake of misreading a handwritten “a” for an “o” or vice versa. It could have been “Salaysay” based on the context of the neighboring streets.
    Also there was a rumor of the subdivision once being the area where film & art directors/producers lived back in the 50s (or earlier?) The last being Baby Barredo. Not to mention its close proximity to the old premises of Sampaguita Films and LVN.

    Just looking for a conversation.
    Great article.


  • Eduardo A. Avis

    You might be correct in your observation, however my own understanding of the word in it’s correct form in pilipino is DIMASALING for UNTOUCHABLE. Masaling means touch. Thank You.
    From, Ed Avis

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