Saturday, December 20, 2014


 The City of Malabon is presently in the midst of celebrating this year one of its historic festivities. This is the 400th Anniversary of the San Bartolome Parish Church, one of the oldest churches in the country.

Malabon was called Tambobong during the early Spanish era until it was established as an independent parish by ecclesiastical authorities on May 14,1614 under the patronage of San Bartolome Apostol.

The historic church is the parish of Malabon’s first stone edifice built by the Augustinian Order under Fray Diego de Robles.

Street Scene, Malabon. Turn of the century postcard

The church edifice is best described in an article entitled “SAN BARTOLOME: A HISTORY IN STONE “(Starweek, Phil. Star Sunday magazine, May 4, 2014 issue) :
                    “The church measures 70.14m long and 25.05m wide. It has
                  a central  nave and    two aisles, transept and a dome in the media
                  narenja or  barrel vault style, cupped by a campanile. The porch   
                  is supported  by imposing ionic columns which resemble a
                 Greco-Roman temple.”

                      “The colonnade of the façade supports the protruding triangular
                 pediment. The eight ionic columns of the outer side are
                 echoed by the corresponding sets attached to the front recessed
                 façade wall flanked by the three-storey twin bell towers. The squat
                 columns and semi-circular arched windows make for dramatic
                 contrast. The Augustinian symbol is inscribed on the wall above
                 the main entrance.”

It is considered by church experts to be “one of the most beautiful examples of ecclesiastical architecture that Spain has left the country”

Malabon bancas. Turn of the century postcard

The present Parish Priest of the Church, Fr. Ric Torrefiel, has done wonders in improving and beautifying the church, inside and out, that drew tributes and praises not only from  church parishioners but also from those who have personally seen and observed the building and its environs, including no less than Pres. P-Noy Aquino himself when he attended recently the wedding of his first cousin, Malabon Mayor Len-Len Oreta, who  expressed his admiration  for the beauty and edifying appeal of the Church.

Old postcard of Malabon and not Manila

It may be expecting too much but we hope and pray that sooner or later, San Bartolome Church becomes one of the region’s tourist destinations.

Bridge of  Malabon

First Day Cover issued by the Philpost to commemorate the Quadricentennial of San Bartolome Parish

1 comment:

  1. Cool! nice to see those paintings. The church and bridge (currently under construction) are still there Those trees/ houses are now a whole lane of banks (BDO, BPI, Metro etc...)