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’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.
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.
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…”
to be continued…
© The Urban Roamer