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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Malabon Tricycle Tours: Rediscovering My Hometown

Rediscovering my hometown is something I haven't thought of doing, until now. And I'm really happy that I got a go at it. You see, I've lived over 20 years of my life in the city of Malabon. However, I haven't actually explored it much. So last month, when I received an invitation to join the Malabon Tricycle Tours, I knew I just had to say yes!

Malabon Tricycle Tour

Organized by the local government of Malabon, led by Malabon Mayor Antolin "Len-Len" Oreta III's wife, Chef Melissa Sison-Oreta, the Malabon Tricycle Tours aims to showcase a different side of the city as part of the #VisitPhilippines2015 campaign. If you haven't lived or been to Malabon, then you might think that the city only offers pichi-pichi, Pancit Malabon, a multitude of factories, and flooded streets. And this, my friends, is why I joined the tour. I wanted to see more of my city behind all the pre- and misconceptions.

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Touring Malabon in style, aboard one of the 52 accredited tricycles,
with the driver as our tour guide.
"Tricycles are an indigenous form of the auto-rickshaw and a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. These public utility vehicles either ply a set route or are for-hire, like taxis." -- from Wiki
The tour is customizable which means you can choose as few or as many places to visit as you want. But for ours, touring 8 historical and cultural heritage destinations for about 3 hours was already enough to give us a feel of the city. ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ

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My lucky number!
Accredited tricycles are those with #VisitMalabon2015 stickers.
Anyway, enough of my blabbering! I'm sure you're already excited to see the places we got to visit. So without further ado, let's officially start the Malabon Tricycle Tour!

Concepcion Market


Our first stop was the Concepcion Market, one of the most popular markets in the city and a place-to-be for the freshest catch of seafoods, as well as fruits and local delicacies.

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Prior to the tour, I've already been to Concepcion Market a few times to accompany my mom when she buys fish, prawns and squid. But it was nice to get a different view of the market through the tour. This was my first time to ever take photographs in a market too!

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Just across the market stands the Immaculate Conception Parish Church and the equally famous Plaza Concepcion, which used to host movie caravans from LVN and Sampaguita Films. Today, it houses a health center and also serves as a multi-purpose hall.

Artes De Paseo


Next on our itinerary was Artes De Paseo, a fairly new gallery established by the Art Association of Malabon on October 2013. The gallery aims to educate visitors about art while showcasing masterpieces by Malabonian artists and in the process, preserve culture.

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Although established back in 2013, it was not until May 2014 after its Inaugural Exhibit that Artes De Paseo went full bloom.

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Some of the artworks that really caught my eye were the intricate oil paintings by Chris Magbuhos, as well as the stunning acrylic artworks by August Santiago.

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While at the Artes De Paseo, we also snacked on some Valencia -- Malabonian's version of turon encased in a triangle-shaped, caramel-coated and deep-fried wrapper, but mixed with other sweet delicacies. In our case, our Valencia also had biko (sticky sweetened rice). I've also seen others with mung bean paste or even ube halaya.

Ibaviosa House


Completed back in the 1940's on a 2,200sqm. lot, this pre-war ancestral house owned by the Ibaviosas was said to have seen and endured the Filipino-Japanese war.

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The Ibaviosa family is known in the city for their Malabon Patis, with the Ibaviosa House as a fruit of their successful business. And while the family's still in the patis-making industry, we've also seen a small factory for making pants in their compound. Too bad these pants are not for sale. This batch will be directly sent to SM Department Store.

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I'm not sure how true this is, but I've heard from some of the people who joined the tour that the Ibaviosa House is also the set for Ai-Ai de las Alas' Tanging Ina. Can anyone who have watched the movie confirm if this is indeed true? As shameful as it, I have to admit that I haven't watched the film yet. Yup, I used to live under a rock! >.<


Angel Cacnio Gallery


This house and gallery holds a collection of Mr. Angel Cacnio's best paintings, sculpture works made by his sons Michael and Ferdinand, and paintings by Malabonian artists collected by his wife -- the late Mrs. Amelia Cacnio.

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The Angel Cacnio Gallery is a sight to behold with every wall lined with beautiful artworks. Some which caught my attention were the designs Mr. Cacnio did for the P20 and P100 bills. Some coins which circulated in 1982 and 1983 were said to have been his designs too, as well as the Malabon Landmark icon along Letre Road.

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If you're interested in art, Mr. Cacnio, along with other dedicated Malabonian artists, occasionally offers free painting workshops for enthusiasts.

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We also spotted this lechunan just outside the Angel Cacnio Gallery. Though I love indulging in lechon -- that crispy skin and succulent meat, I feel pity for 'em pigs when I see them on a spit-roaster. 。゚・(>﹏<)・゚。 I won't stop eating lechon any time soon though.


Raymundo House


Inspired by the ambiance of Intramuros, the Raymundo House was built back in 1861, and has long since provided the present generation a glimpse of the past.

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The house itself has already been renovated, if I'm not mistaken, but the concrete arch and enormous wooden gate have been preserved since its completion. At the upper part of the arch, there's a Hapsburg Eagle etching which symbolizes royalty.

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This 2,400sqm. property used to host seafood product traders from around the land. For centuries, the Raymundo House has observed free-flowing river traffic, fluvial events, as well as the transformation of the river. How surreal if you think about it!

Oreta Sports Complex


One of the pride of Malabon is the Oreta Sports Complex constructed back in 2006. This is the only sports center of its class in CAMANAVA (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas), and aims at promoting sports, health and wellness among Malabonians.

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The Oreta Sports Complex has a 1,300-seater Olympic-sized basketball court, a 530sqm. multi-purpose front stage, and outdoor pools (standard and kiddie) bordered by cottages to host visitors. At the moment, this sports center enjoys continuous renovation to cater to more functions and social events that augment local income.

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This is probably the stop in the tour that surprised me the most. I knew we had a sports center in the city. However, I didn't expect the Oreta Sports Complex to be this impressive. Bravo, Malabon!

Malabon City Hall


Ahhh... The Malabon City Hall! I've been to this building a couple times now to secure documents and IDs, and I'd always comment on how nice our own city hall looks like. As it turns out, this eleven-storey building has been considered the tallest structure in CAMANAVA at the time of its construction back in 2007.

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Apart from offices, the Malabon City Hall also has a multi-purpose hall equipped with air-conditioning and sound system on the top-most floor perfect for public events. There's also an open-air penthouse, which I failed to check out (have to see it for myself the next time I visit the building), that overlooks the city and gives a really nice view of Malabon.

San Bartolome Church


Our last stop was the San Bartolome Church, a Baroque-style Agustinian parish built in 1564 and declared an independent parish from Tondo on May 17, 1614.

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I was more than excited to visit this 400-year old church. But before going in, we spotted these ladies wearing the creative masterpieces of the female inmates from Malabon City Jail. The black dress was made from garbage bags and egg shells; the bustier high-low dress was made from colorful recycled paper; and the short-sleeved dress was made from caffeine-filled sleepless nights and bags of Great Taste coffee. How innovative and fasyon!

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The San Bartolome Church is the oldest local church and first city landmark of Malabon. Just standing outside its gates, one can already see and feel the grandeur of this 400-year old parish. Its interior is even more magnificent with walls and ceilings dressed in paintings of local artists. However, as proud as I am of how stunning this church looks now, it's a little saddening that my generation and the generation-to-come will never know the simple beauty this parish used to hold. Although the architectural structure was preserved, the interior and the facade were already heavily altered. Not that it's entirely a bad thing. But I somehow wish the restoration processes aimed to keep San Bartolome Church's identity, and not make it look new. And different.

Wrapping it up...


I never thought rediscovering my hometown can be this fun. I've learned so much and felt even prouder to be a Malabonian. I knew Malabon has a lot in store, but I didn't know it has old houses, beautiful galleries and stunning churches that are this impressive.

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Our merienda after the tour: Pancit bihon, lumpiang ubod, and puto with salted egg
The concept of a "Tricycle Tour" is something new, and a truly Pinoy way to get to know a place. In this case, Malabon. “We have a 400-year-old church, historical heritage houses of well-known political personalities and artists, and good food destinations, which is a big part of Philippine history. We have a lot to offer to backpackers and those beach people who come to the country,” Chef Melissa Sison-Oreta said.

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Our friendly driver and tour guide for the day -- Kuya Abril!
Although not entirely a tourist destination in Metro Manila, I still urge everyone to check out Malabon and try the Malabon Tricycle Tours. Apart from these historical and cultural destinations we visited, you can also choose to add trips to Malabon restaurants from a list of #VisitMalabon2015-approved eateries.

Malabon Tricycle Tours 2015

Traveling need not be expensive. Sure, Malabon is not home to beaches or lush forests, but if you want a different kind of city tour, give the Malabon Tricycle Tours a go. And if you're a Malabonian, or used to live in Malabon, then you should definitely consider rediscovering your hometown, just like what I did. It's fun, accessible, very inexpensive, and really good for street photography! ★⌒(●ゝω・)b


For more information and inquiries, visit Malabon Tourism's Facebook Page
or contact the Malabon Tourism Office at 281-4999 Loc. 1003.
You may also contact the Malabon TODA Association at
0918-651-7343, 0922-950-1500 or 0922-809-3010.


34 comments :

  1. I live near Malabon and I like this article a lot! There is so much to explore!

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    1. Wow! Didn't know you're from the area too, Anna! :) If you can, do try the Malabon Tricycle Tours! ^_^

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  2. Nakita ko palang un house, un mga patis at short description about the Ibaviosa House, naisip ko na agad un bahay sa Ang Cute ng Ina Mo ni Ai ai D, Anne C and Luis M. Yan pala yun :)

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    1. Oh! Yun pala yun! :D Chineck ko yung synopsis ng "Ang Cute ng Ina Mo" at tumpak na tumpak! Synopsis pa lang namention na agad yung Malabon at patis! Haha :D Thanks sa info ah, Istin! I think I'll be watching the movie this weekend. Sana may makita akong magandang copy. :D

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  3. Wow! This is a really great way to promote each city or municipality. I wish they have this kind of initiative everywhere in the Philippines, to promote tourism and so that tourists wouldn't have a hard time travelling.

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    1. Yes, that's so true! :) There's more to every city, town and municipality in the Philippines, and it'd really make not just foreign tourists but also local ones, more knowledgeable about the country. Hoping in the years ahead, "Tricycle Tours" will be a thing. :)

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  4. Waaaa Ms. Sumi, the pictures are sooo good hahaha I suddenly felt ashamed of myself for not knowing some of the places you mentioned despite living here in Malabon for almost 15 years. T_T Maybe I really should tour more around the city :) thanks so much for this! More powers!

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  5. Wow grabe ansasarap naman ng delicacies ng Malabon, madami din palang magagandang puntahan dyan, hopefully makapasyal ako dyan! astig nun turon version, mukhang masarap! atsaka yun pansit malabon paborito ko yun! Ganda ng photos, thanks for sharing po :)

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  6. wow bigla ko narefresh ang lugar ng malabon na dati kami nakatira dito at nakakamiss din laha lalo na mga relatives ko at mga foods especially ang Nanay Pancit Malabon malapit lang kami dito..Salamat sa articles na ito dahil bumalik tanaw ako sa lugar na ito

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  7. i've been there sometimes but i didn't know that there is such a nice places there. nice sharing this miss. Sumi-Go. atleast many people will now appreciate malabon. :)

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  8. I love all the delicacies you have in malabon and I rememeber there was a place a factory in your place factory ng mga monoblocks,cabinets and even utensils na super mura un lang diko na matandaan anu name pero dyan sa malabon un kasama ko pa ang ate ko nun ng namakyaw kami and dyan kami dinala ng driver nya na taga malabon din :)

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  9. all i know is that Malabon is a flooded area and it's great to know that there are awesome places to visit there. Thanks for sharing and this post made me realized to explore my own hometown too where I grew up.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this Ma'am i love the place and the serenity itself :)

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  11. Wow this is great review. Nakakatuwa ung nag isip ng concept ng activity na ito Malabon Tricycle Tours kasi bbihira sa mga lugar n me ganito. I am truly proud to be a Filipina, its more fun in the Philippines.

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  12. Khrishia Ronquillo-SedenioJanuary 22, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    I'm surprised with this article! Because I frequent Malabon before but i only go to one place in Longos (my friend's house during our thesis days). I'm surprised with all the treasures the city offers. I would like to try the Valencia and visit the Raymundo House.

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  13. Ang galing naman! This makes me wanna visit Malabon.

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  14. Actually po im from navotas city and may family din ako sa malabon,enjoy talaga mag ride sa tricycle,

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  15. Good to hear about your place sis Sumi. I am curious with that kalabasang okoy. I've heard so much about this appetizer, that is why I want to know how it is cooked.

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  16. Except for the regular rainy day floods and the Pansit Malabon, I have little info about the city. wow! It has lots to offer pala sa visitors nya. And that Tricicle City Tour is one nice event in promoting a city or municipalities. Masabi nga sa Mayor namin.

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  17. This is such an awesome program. I've learned a lot about Malabon from your post and I'm sure there are more to learn and see if I participate in the actual tour. I hope other municipalities and cities here in Metro Manila would do a similar program.

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  18. Thanks for sharing and promoting your hometown. It is nice to see a review from a local rather than visiting tourist as you will know your place best!

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  19. Creative solutions like this make me so happy! I think this is such a wonderful way to promote tourism in Malabon! :)

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  20. I have seen this being promoted tricycle food tour being featured on Kris TV. I would really like to find that OKOY! I am craving for good delicious OKOY!

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  21. The tricycle tour sounds so fun. The food looks delicious and there's so much to explore.

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  22. Nice! I didnt know malabon has a beautiful church. And they even has old houses. Is malabon zoo still open?

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  23. This is very interesting way to discover the beauty, food, and culture of Malabon. Political leaders must have this idea for their own province or city. Nice exploring places in tricycle.

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  24. Makes me interested on visiting Malabon. And try pancit malabon? haha I think that concept with the tricycle is also being done in Thailand with their "tuktok" accredited stickers. Great improvement on Tourism Planning and Development! Kudos Malabon!

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  25. I have been to Malabon for a photo walk but we didn't get the chance to go or try out the ones you've mentioned here! I have to back and will definitely try this Tricycle tour. Never heard of it and I find it an interesting concept. It helps the tourism of the place which we all know translates to extra income for the residents. :)

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  26. This is really great place! Never know this place is so beautiful!

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  27. I think you photographed everything nicely. You have a good eye for details. I’d also love to go to that kind of tour if ever I’m in the Philippines.

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  28. It's nice that they are tapping the trycicle for tourism. I haven't been to Malabon and this gets me excited to try this out.

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  29. What an interesting experience this must have been for you! to see your hometown through the eyes of a tourist. Travelling, indeed, need not be expensive. What is the cost of the tricycle tour?

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  30. I have seen this on tv. it's so nice that through a simple initiative, the people are getting jobs and the tourism influx adds in helping the local community aside from the fact that the food in Malabon deserve really an applause.

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  31. My last trip to Marikina City I saw the tricycle and tempted to tried it but due to time constrain we took a taxi instead. Should have try it on my next trip.

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