The Historic City of San Juan
Sanctuario Del Santo Cristo Parish
The city of San Juan or simply San Juan is a city in Metro Manila in the Philippines. Before the creation of Metro Manila, it was part of Rizal Province. Currently the smallest city in the region and the country in terms of area, San Juan is one of the smallest among the cities and municipalities in the metropolis, second only to Pateros. This was the site of the first battle of the Katipunan, the Filipino revolutionary organization, against the Spanish colonizers.
"San Juan City" is a contraction of the city's longer official name: San Juan del Monte (English: "St. John of the Mountain"). It is named in honor of St. John the Baptist, the city's patron saint, and the hilly terrain the city is situated on.
It is bordered by Quezon City in the north and east, Mandaluyong City on the south, and the city of Manila on the west.
The territory of San Juan was once much larger than it is presently, stretching all the way to Caloocan City. Parts of what are now Districts 1, 2 and 4 of Quezon City as well as parts of Mandaluyong were originally within the San Juan territorial boundaries. This explains why the San Juan Reservoir is in the nearby Horseshoe Village, a subdivision under the jurisdiction of Quezon City.
During the pre-Hispanic period, the village of what is now San Juan was a part of the Kingdom of Namayan, whose last recorded rulers were King Lacantagean and his wife Bouan. When the Spanish first took over the kingdom which they re-christened as Sta. Ana de Sapa, the village remained a part of it, re-classified as a barrio, and became a small encomienda by 1590. In 1602, the Dominican friars built a retreat house for their immediate use, where aging or convalescing friars stayed. Later, the Dominicans constructed a convent and a stone church dedicated to the Holy Cross. To this day, the thrice-rebuilt church of Santo Cristo stands on the same site, adjacent to the Aquinas School and the Dominican College. In 1783, San Juan became independent of Santa Ana but it was still then a barrio.
The first battle of the Philippine Revolution that achieved independence from Spain began in San Juan in 1898.
Although not officially designated as such, the city of San Juan could also be called the "Town of Philippine Presidents." Of the last nine presidents since the country became a republic in 1946, four of them were official residents of San Juan when they assumed office. They were the Macapagal father and daughter, Diosdado Sr. (1961–1965) and his daughter Gloria (2001–2010); Ferdinand Marcos (1965–1986); and Joseph Estrada (1998–2001), who also served as mayor when San Juan was still a municipality.
On June 16, 2007, voters in San Juan ratified the conversion of the municipality into a highly urbanized city, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9388 ("An Act Converting the Municipality of San Juan into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of San Juan"). Then congressman Ronaldo B. Zamora sponsored the Cityhood Bill at the House of Representatives and worked for its approval.
Places of Interest
Among the many interesting places in San Juan are the Pinaglabanan Shrine, which marks where the opening salvo of the 1896 Philippine Revolution took place, the Greenhills Shopping Center, one of the metro's popular bargain places, especially for consumer electronics, clothing and other merchandise.
Other locations would be the city's churches, such as Mary the Queen Parish near Xavier School and the Immaculate Conception Academy, the Sto. Cristo Church near Aquinas School and Dominican College. The St. John the Baptist Parish, more commonly known as the "Pinaglabanan Church," is where the city's patron saint is enshrined and is where the city's incumbent congressman J. V. Ejercito was married.
140 Pinaglabanan Street San Juan
- Built on 1895, the church is a sanctuary to the 400-year-old image of the town Patron Saint San Juan Bautista, (St. John the Baptist) where the town derived its name.
Old Convent of Kabayanan and Sanctuario de Santo Cristo Church
- Formerly the church of San Juan del Monte, it was built from 1602 to 1604 by the Dominican priests of the Most Holy Rosary. The original church was burned during the Chinese uprising of 1639. In 1641, a new church was constructed but was again set on fire by the British Forces in July 1763. Reconstruction of the burned structure was made in 1774. The church building became a refuge of the Katipuneros during the 1898 Philippine Revolution.
The Learning Resource Center Building at San Juan Elementary School Compound
N. Domingo St.
- The edifice was the site of the Spanish ammunition dump known as "El Polvorin" (Alamacen de Polvora) and Ammo Arsenal built by the Spaniards in 1771. Seized by Filipino revolutionaries during the Battle of San Juan del Monte, led by Supremo Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and Sancho Valenzuela, brains of the Philippine Revolution.
Spirit of 1896 Monument
N. Domingo St. cor. Pinaglabanan St.
- Constructed in 1920 through the contribution of the local government, civic-spirited citizens and school children of San Juan. The monument immortalizes the courage and patriotism of the Katipuneros who sparked the Revolution against Spain in 1896.
Ortigas Ave., Greenhills
- The home of the foremost, biggest yet unequalled flea market in the Philippines, the Greenhills Tiangge, where shoppers experience the exciting bargain buys almost the whole year through. Christmas holidays however, bring about an incomparable plenitude of goods and shoppers crowding the vicinity with an animated Christmas show as an added attraction traditionally showcased at the COD Department Store in Cubao.
- A historical site where Andres Bonifacio headed the first battle of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Regime on August 30, 1896.
- The underground is known as El Deposito, used to be the water reservoir serving the entire Greater Manila area.
Monuments of Andres Bonifacio & Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
- Two monumental statues of the prime heroes of the Battle of San Juan del Monte standing adjacent the Pinaglabanan Shrine in recognition to their significant contribution in the struggle that transpired within the locality as well as to immortalize their desire for freedom.
- An exclusive club of historical value because it was here where President Corazon C. Aquino was sworn in as President of the Republic of the Philippines by the late Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee after the famous EDSA Revolution in 1986.
Where to Stay
- Greenhills Elan Hotel Modern - No 49 Annapolis Street Greenhills
- The Orange Place Hotel, San Juan - 312 Santolan Rd. corner J. Abad Santos
- Benson Apartelle San Juan City - 631 Pinaglabanan Street
- The Contemporary Hotel - #8 G. Araneta Avenue
- Mezza Residences Condotel Quezon City - Brgy. Dona Imelda, Aurora Boulevard cor. Araneta Avenue & Guirayan Sts.
- Hotel Sogo - Sta Mesa - Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. Sta. Mesa
- Joyce Apartelle San Juan - 128 N. Domingo Street
- Ascott Makati - Makati City (4.5 km from San Juan City)
- Makati Shangri-La Manila - Makati City (4.3 km from San Juan City)
- New World Makati City, Manila Hotel - Makati City (4.7 km from San Juan City
Transportation around the city
- Road R-6 passes through San Juan as Aurora Boulevard, as does the C-3 (Araneta Avenue). Less major routes include Nicanor Domingo (more known as N. Domingo), which heads towards Cubao in Quezon City, and Pinaglabanan/Santolan, which leads towards Ortigas Avenue and eventually Quezon City.
- The Purple Line of the Manila LRT also briefly passes through the city while running over Aurora Boulevard (R-6), serving the stations at V. Mapa and J. Ruiz.
- Numerous jeepney routes operate throughout the city, heading towards Cubao, Divisoria, Crame (via Santolan), Taytay and other destinations. A bus route from Quiapo heading towards Cainta and Taytay passes through San Juan.