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.
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