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What comes to mind when you hear the word Malabon? Quite honestly, aside from the famous Pancit Malabon, to me and I think to most people I know, Malabon is that city sandwiched between Navotas and Caloocan. I forget that Malabon holds a rich history… that it is a city where there is so much to see, learn and taste.

Thanks to the Department of Tourism for tagging me along to explore Malabon in this media familiarization tour and help promote emerging tourist destinations in Metro Manila. The tour was led by the Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Malabon Mayor Antolin “Len Len” Oreta and wife Chef Melissa Oreta no less.

Because of the narrow streets, touring Malabon in a four-wheeled vehicle is impractical, almost impossible even. So we mazed through Malabon using tricycles to conveniently reach earmarked destinations. Yes, you read it right! The Malabon Tricycle Tours.

Malabon Tricycle Tour

The Malabon Tricycle Tours does not only help promote local tourism but more importantly it serves as a livelihood for the local community.

The tour includes ancestral structures, old churches and Filipino Food places. They offer the following tour packages:

Package A- Heritage Tour P 250 per person
San Bartolome Parish
Sy Juco Mansion
Nepomuceno Ancestral House
Concepcion Market and Plaza
Artes de Paseo Art Gallery
El Casa Katipunero
Ibaviosa Ancestral House
Angel Cacnio Art Gallery
Rivera Ancestral House
Raymundo Ancestral House

Package B- Food Trip Special P 750 per person
San Bartolome Parish
Lugaw Experience
Hazel’s Puto
Jamico’s Restaurant
Dolor’s Kakanin
Concepcion Market and Plaza
Nanay’s Pancit Malabon
Betsy’s Cake Center

Package C- Food and Heritage Tour P 900 per person
San Bartolome Parish
Sy Juco Mansion
Lugaw Experience
Ibaviosa Ancestral House
Hazel’s Puto and Puto Pao
Jamico’s Restaurant
Nepomuceno Ancestral House
Concepcion Market and Plaza
Dolor’s Kakanin
El Casa Katipunero
Nanay’s Pancit Malabon
Angel Cacnio Art Gallery
Rivera House
Raymundo Ancestral House
Betsy’s Cake Center

San Bartolome Parish

At half-past nine in the morning, we started the tour and our first stop was the San Bartolome Church. Built in 1564, the San Bartolome Church’s unique Baroque architecture has been stunningly maintained over the years.

The San Bartolome Church was built in 1564 and declared an independent parish from Tondo on May 17, 1614
San Bartolome Parish
San Bartolome Parish Arc
San Bartolome Parish facade
The meticulously carved doors of the San Bartolome Parish welcome all devotees and visitors.
Two rows of chandeliers light up the interior of the San Bartolome Parish.
The inside walls showcase paintings of San Bartolome Church over the years.
Paintings on the inside walls depict biblical characters and events.
The San Barlolome Parish Altar.
The San Bartolome Parish dome looks like heaven’s gates.

All drivers of the Malabon Tricycle Tour have proper identification.

Sy Juco Heritage House, Brgy. Tanong

I boarded Kuya (Brother) Merlin’s tricycle and we proceeded to visiting the ancestral Sy Juco House built in 1869. Over the years, this heritage house once served as a school and then as a tobacco factory before it became a private residence of a Swiss Filipino Family. I was not able to take a lot of photos but was able to take a lot of videos here. I will upload a vlog soon so stay tuned.

From left to right: Ms. Concepcion Sy Juco showing the Secretary of the Department of Tourism Wanda Teo around the Sy Juco Ancestral House
One of the many religious artifacts displayed in the Sy Juco Ancestral House
Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo going on a Malabon Tricycle Tour
The Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo boarding a tricycle in front of the Sy Juco Ancestral House in Malabon City.

Ibaviosa House and Patis Factory, Brgy. Flores

Ibaviosa House and Patis Factory

Then, we visited the Ibaviosa House and Patis Factory. Built in the 1940’s, this heritage house endured the Filipino- Japanese War and is still standing up to now. It also served as a set location of one of the films of the comedian Ai Ai Delas Alas entitled “Ang Cute Ng Ina Mo” where Ai Ai played the role of a Filipina patis (fish sauce) manufacturer.


Ibaviosa Residence

Lugaw Experience, Brgy. Flores

Adjacent to the Ibaviosa Heritage House is Lugaw Experience where we got to taste the famous Malabon lugaw (porridge). The 1984 original recipe was by Narcisa Domondon Pangan and the same recipe has been passed on from generation to generation.

Lugaw Experience in Brgy. Flores
Lugaw Experience with Chef Melissa Oreta, Secretary Wanda Teo and Mayor Len Len Oreta

Angel Cacnio’s House and Art Gallery

With our tummies full, we boarded our tricycles and went to the art gallery of Mr. Angel Cacnio who is famous for his paintings and for designing the Philippine 100 and 20 peso bills. The gallery also showcased some of his sons’ paintings and his wife’s art collection.

Angel Cacnio’s House and Art Gallery
Art Pieces displayed in Mr. Angel Cacnio's Art Gallery
Art pieces displayed in Mr. Angel Cacnio’s Art Gallery
More Art Pieces displayed in Mr. Angel Cacnio's Art Gallery
More art pieces displayed in Mr. Angel Cacnio’s Art Gallery
Some of Mr. Angel Cacnio's Masterpieces
Some of Mr. Angel Cacnio’s Masterpieces

We were lucky that day because Mr. Angel Cacnio was around to welcome us. In the photo below, he was vividly recalling and sharing to us the beautiful and rich history of Malabon.

Angel Cacnio
Born in Malabon on June 6, 1931, Angel Cacnio is famous for designing the P 100 and P 20 bills.

He even more than willingly signed a hundred peso bill of one of our companions.

Angel Cacnio signing one of the 100 peso bills
Cacnio signing a P 100 bill
This version of the 100 peso bill was designed and signed by Mr. Angel Cacnio.

Dra. Gonzales’ Heritage House, General Luna Avenue

The next stop was Dra. Gonzales’ Heritage House for lunch. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by two talented young people gracefully swaying to the music of a folk dance song.

Two kids welcomed us at Dra. Gonzales’ Heritage House through a folk dance

We were served some of the best flavors of Malabon City: Pancit Malabon, Crispy Pata, and Kikiam. Aside from Mommy Dolor’s Kakanin (native cakes) for dessert, we were served Valencia Trianggulo, Malabon’s version of turon (fritters in lumpiya wrapper). Valencia Trianggulo is a Malabon delicacy and instead of the usual turon stuffed with just banana and langka, Valencia Trianggulo is stuffed bananas, langka and pinipig in a lumpiya wrapper formed into a triangle and deep-fried.

Dolor’s Kakanin, Escanilla Street

After lunch, the food trip was not yet over. It just went on and on. LOL. Truly #eatsmorefuninMalabon. From Dra. Gonzales’ Heritage House, we walked for around five minutes to visit Dolor’s Kakanin Shop along Escanilla Street and have some more dessert! We were told that they have been using the same secret recipe since 1930. They showed us how their famous sapin-sapin is made. Sapin-sapin is a Filipino dessert made of glutinous rice and coconut.

Sapin-sapin is a Filipino dessert made of glutinous rice and coconut.

One of my blogger friends, Maddie, even got the chance to plate one.

Maddie showing off the sapin-sapin that she helped prepare with fellow bloggers Richard, Erica and Carmela all smiles in the background.

Dolors Kakanin

Aside from sapin-sapin, they have other offerings that are just as good.

Immaculate Conception Parish, General Luna Avenue

The last stop was the Immaculate Conception Parish right across Dra. Gonzales’ Heritage House. The ceiling has paintings of biblical characters and events.

The tour took about four hours. Short and sweet (literally with all the kakanin and Valencia Trianggulo that I ate). At about half past one in the afternoon, we left Malabon not just with full tummies but more importantly with better appreciation of our Filipino culture which revolves around our Faith, food and families. We only got to visit a few of the destinations but it was enough to make me excited to come back and visit the ones we missed.

The next time you plan your staycation, get up and book that Malabon Tricycle Tour with your loved ones. You will surely be pleasantly surprised that there is so much to see, learn and taste in a city sandwiched between Navotas and Caloocan.

Signing out for now. Peace!


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