Pasig

the Pasig formerly of Rizal: Rizal’s first Capitol

Lying on the eastern end of Metro Manila lies the city known as Pasig, which serves as an industrial and commercial hub in the east, as well as the metropolis’ gateway to the eastern highlands of Rizal, Quezon, and eastern Laguna.

But long before it became part of the metropolis, Pasig was one of the many towns and cities which used to be part of Rizal province itself. But Pasig holds a more special distinction of being what was once the province’s seat of power ever since the American colonial government established a new province named after the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in 1901.

A provincial capitol building was soon built for this new province, completed under the term of Gov. Jose Tupas, who served from 1906-1909. For fifty-some years, it was the seat of power of the province, not to mention a popular venue for celebrations like the Pasig Carnival of the pre-war years, which in turn served as an inspiration for a composer named Nicanor Abelardo to pen his famous masterpiece, the “Mutya ng Pasig.” (Muse of Pasig)

During World War II, the Japanese forces found use of the building as a prison where prisoners of war were kept. While it managed to survive destruction by war, for some reason, the provincial government decided to move out of the area as the capitol was relocated by 1950 to the property along Shaw Boulevard that was donated by the Ortigas family who then owned large tracts of land in Pasig, as well as nearby towns like Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Quezon City.

the old AMPARTS compound near the old Capitol (taken from Flickr)

For a while, the old capitol grounds found use as part of an industrial complex of a company called the American Machinery Parts, Inc., better known by its acronym AMPARTS. Thus the area became known as the AMPARTS area, even long after the company ceased its operations.

Nowadays, the former capitol grounds lies in ruins in what is now a low-key, quiet neighborhood near the banks of the Marikina River. In fact, if you get to visit this place, you will not think that this place had a more illustrious history as a former provincial capitol grounds. Yet somehow, it still manage to live on as a popular venue for photoshoots and as a backdrop for some films and TV shows. Last I heard, there were plans to restore the old Capitol building to its former glory and be made into a museum. But so far, nothing has gone beyond these plans as the old Capitol quietly waits for the day it would somehow be brought back to its former glory.

Next, the second, and arguably more wll-known, site of the Rizal Provincial Capitol in Pasig.

Acknowledgements to the Manila Standard Today for the additional information. You can also check out this Flickr album for more photos of the first Rizal Capitol ruins at http://www.flickr.com/photos/25745762@N07/with/4211706114/

© The Urban Roamer

12 Comments

  • johnnydep – philippines – about me is something people try hard decipher. neither do i understand the full state of me. despite of it all, what i can comprehend is that i am a person of depth, for you to understand, you must know me deeply. the surface holds more than what meets the eye.

    johnnydep

    hi, i am an architecture student from UST currently doing my thesis which is the adaptive reuse of this building. i am wondering where you were able to get the information regarding this building? i will be documenting this building soon. and i still am not able to find materials regarding this. your insight will be of so much help! thank you!

  • johnnydep – philippines – about me is something people try hard decipher. neither do i understand the full state of me. despite of it all, what i can comprehend is that i am a person of depth, for you to understand, you must know me deeply. the surface holds more than what meets the eye.

    johnnydep

    i would like to ask your permission to use some of the information you have stated for my thesis regarding the adaptive reuse of this building.

    thank you!

  • dharzie

    Hi, someone gave me an idea of going to the building beside the old capitol, is it the Rizal?? Is it open to publick and how can I go there from Sta. lucia Mall? Thanks!

    • urban roamer – I have nothing much to say, I'm the quiet one...which may be why I wander, write, take photographs, and get into social media too much

      urban roamer

      unfortunately the property is off limits to the public so you can only see it from the outside. to get there, I suggest you take a Marikina-Pasig jeepney and drop off near the church then take a trike/pedicab ride or walk to the site.

  • john

    It’s located at barangay sumilang before the area was open to the public and we used to play around the old capitol. and it is a popular shooting venue for horror and action movies in the early 90’s. If you want to visit the old capitol you may proceed to the office of the punong barangay. and maybe they might grant you an access and also seek the asssistance of the security guards assigned in the area.

  • Ismael Alcantara

    My dad who is now 93 years old used to work at AMPARTS. I’ve been to the inside of this building when I was kid. If i can recall, this company closed around 1980. I’m surprised that this building is still there or exist, bring back memories though.

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