Last time, we talked about Pasig’s importance before as the capital of the Province of Rizal when the latter was first established. For a while, the seat of power was located near the banks of the Marikina River, where it stayed for almost 50 years.
Fast forward to 1950, as the Rizal provincial capitol found itself settled in its new home, right along Shaw Boulevard near what was to become the Ortigas Center business district.The land that new capitol sat on was made possible through a donation of the land by its landowners, the Ortigas family,.whose property once extended to what are now parts Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, and Quezon City. For the first 20 or so years, the capitol settled itself comfortably as development began to sprout in neighboring places like the rising Ortigas Center. That would be the way of things in this part of town until 1975, when things became a bit more “complicated.”
In 1975, then President Ferdinand Marcos enacted a decree which took 12 towns away from the jurisdiction of Rizal province to form part of a newly created National Capital Region or Metro Manila; Pasig happened to be one of those towns. With this shift in the geopolitical landscape of the country, the Rizal provincial capitol found itself becoming out of place in its own backyard; it felt no longer right that it would stay in an area that no longer is part of their jurisdiction.
It would remain a thorny issue for the next thirty-some years until an agreement was made between the Rizal provincial government and the original landowners the Ortigas family in which the Ortigas company would help build a new capitol this time within its own jurisdiction: in the city of Antipolo. In return, the land of the capitol would be reverted back to the family. The move would be made official in March 2009, with the inauguration of the new Rizal Provincial Capitol in Antipolo. The old Pasig capitol was soon demolished; the only remnant of its Rizal roots is the presence of the nearby Ynares Sports Arena, which is still owned by the provincial government.
As for the old capitol grounds, plans are afoot to turn it into a commercial-residential complex to be called the Capitol Commons. It is expected that portion of this project would be finished by next year.
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