A Closer Look at the Six Historical Sites Nominated as Cultural Properties

PIO Department


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Here are the six historical sites that the Local Government of Marikina has nominated to be part of the National Museum of the Philippines list of significant cultural properties in the country.


The Jesus dela Peña Chapel (also known as the San Isidro de Labrador Church) was built by the Society of Jesus in 1630. It was here where the first Catholic Mass in Marikina was held. Its establishment marked the beginning of the recorded history of Marikina, once a vast mountainous area traversed by the Marikina River.

The chapel was designed in Neo-Romanesque style as indicated by the arched openings and light façade. In its early designs, the chapel had a row of monolithic columns used for support and decoration, a common feature for Roman and early Christian architecture.


The Chanyungco ancestral house on J.P. Rizal Street in Brgy. Sta. Elena (right across the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church and beside Kapitan Moy) was built in the late 1920’s by Tomas Chanyungco, one of the town’s first shoe traders, and his wife, Carmen Guevara, a relative of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevara, the founder and father of the shoe industry in Marikina.

Originally from Binondo (once the center of commerce in the country and the oldest Chinatown in the world) in  Manila, Tomas operated a small shoe factory in the cellar of this house and sold the shoes at his store in Gandara. The brand of his shoes and the name of the factory was called Obreros Mariqueños.

Tomas and Carmen had five sons namely Bernardino, Juan, Jose, Nicanor and Eloy. Their only daughter, Salud, died of tuberculosis in her adolescence. Juan and Eloy graduated from medical school at the University of Sto. Tomas and started their practice at this house. Juan served as Mayor of the town in 1938 to 1945 and in 1951 to 1955. The youngest, Dr. Eloy, eventually assumed ownership of the house.

Dr. Eloy’s wife, Simeona Florencio (daughter of violinist and composer Segundo Florencio), fondly called "Tia Nonang" also pursued her vocation – teaching – in this house. Tia Nonang held her lessons on folk dances in the sala at the second floor. Her most notable achievement was the discovery, research and reintroduction of “Balse Marikina” and “Lerion” that are now the official folk dances of Marikina.

Dr. Eloy, on the other hand, became a household name not only in Marikina but also in Montalban and Antipolo because he did house calls even during the Japanese occupation when the house was conscripted for officers’ quarters.


Built in 1780, Kapitan Moy was the residence of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevara (July 14, 1851 – December 30, 1891), the founder and father of the shoe industry in Marikina. Kapitan Moy served as capitan municipal and was credited for helping manufacture the first pair of shoes in Marikina in 1887.

The ancestral house is a product of architectural evolution. The steep-hip roof, the post and lintel construction, the light and airy structure and the elevated quarters were derived from the Philippine style “Bahay Kubo.” Its European architecture gleams of grandeur and solidity, the dramatic arrangement of space, use of masonry and simple ornamental system.

The house was once converted into a home of needy residents of Marikina by Doña Teresa dela Paz Tuazon, who bought Kapitan Moy to serve the needs of the marginal sector of the community.

Kapitan Moy is currently the center for culture and the arts in Marikina and houses the Marikina City Tourism, Culture and the Arts Office at the ground floor, right next to the famous Cafe Kapitan. The roomy second floor is being rented out for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, debuts, seminars and graduation ceremonies.


The Our Lady of the Abandoned (OLA) Church was built in 1690 and was then known as the Our Lady of Protection. It became known as Our Lady of the Abandoned in 1792.

The 328-year-old church enshrines one of the several images of the Virgin Mary venerated as miraculous and had received Papal recognition.

On October 23, 1971, the church was consecrated by the Archdiocese of Manila for the Virgin’s said title so it could be used for any secular purposes.

The church suffered major damages during the tumultuous years of the Philippine-American War in the early 1900s and the carillon was totally destroyed during the Second World War. By 1957, the OLA was restored and refurbished by Father Silvestre dela Cruz of the Archdiocese of Manila with the help from various civic and religious organizations.


The Marikina Shoe Museum was conceived in 1998 under the leadership of Mayor Bayani F. Fernando. The museum was built with the aim of becoming an important venue for nurturing the historical values of the country’s shoe industry since Marikina is known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.

The building (built in the 1880s) had a significant role in the country’s history. Before it became a shoe museum, the building was used as an arsenal during the Spanish Period. It was also a detention cell during the Filipino-American War, where General Macario Sakay, one of the leaders of the Katipunan, was believed to have had been held as a prisoner. At the latter part of the American Regime, it was converted into a motor pool for the American soldiers.

After the Second World War, the Tuason family used the building as a rice mill for its entire hacienda in Marikina.

It currently houses the shoes of famous personalities, including pairs from former presidents of the Philippines, as well as those of former Mayors (and the current Mayor Marcy Teodoro) of Marikina, government officials and cabinet secretaries, celebrities, movie stars, ambassadors and well-known politicians including senators. Some of the shoes of former First Lady Imelda Marcos are also displayed at the museum.


The materials used to construct the Zamora House were said to come from drifting logs that were floating on the Marikina River from Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. Indigenous tribes such as the Aetas used to gather wood from the river and sell it to the settlers. In 1890, Domingo Zamora (whose older brother Felipe Zamora was one of Dr. Jose Rizal’s co-propagandists in Madrid Spain) constructed a military headquarters and garrison in the guise of a residential house.

Domingo Zamora was the founder of the Iglesia Pilipina Independiente, whose origin was traced back to the struggle of the Filipino clergy against racial discrimination and friar domination within the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th Century. Eventually, the Iglesia Pilipina Independiente was turned into a nationalist crusade for the absolute Filipinization of the Church.

During the Second World War, Japanese soldiers used the house as their headquarters. The house survived the destruction and bombings during the Liberation of the American forces and was used as a relief center for the war victims, where rice and other staple food was distributed.

The ownership of the house was passed down to the side of Domingo Zamora’s wife who came from a family of physicians. The Santos family is the current residents of the house, of which a part is being used as a clinic.

Its architecture is an example of neo-classical “Bahay na Bato” with its use of pilaster, a classical architecture feature attached to the wall for decoration and support. Intricately designed carvings can be seen below the eaves of the roof. A notable feature of the house is the presence of a “tangka” or chimney at the back, considered revolutionary at that time. Its interiors are characterized by a high ceiling to allow natural ventilation

Source: Marikina City Tourism, Culture and the Arts Office booklet.

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