San Juan, Metro Manila

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For the cities named San Juan worldwide, see San Juan (disambiguation).
San Juan
Highly-Urbanized City
Dakilang Lungsód ng San Juan
(Great City of San Juan)
Skyscrapers along Annapolis Street in Greenhills
Skyscrapers along Annapolis Street in Greenhills
Official seal of San Juan
Seal
Nickname(s): Heart of Metro Manila; Home of Philippine Presidents; Tiangge Capital of the Philippines
Motto: Todo Asenso, San Juan!
("Progress, San Juan!")
Diwa ng 1896
("Spirit of 1896")
Location within Metro Manila
Location within Metro Manila
San Juan is located in Philippines
San Juan
San Juan
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°36′N 121°02′E / 14.6°N 121.03°E / 14.6; 121.03Coordinates: 14°36′N 121°02′E / 14.6°N 121.03°E / 14.6; 121.03
Country Philippines
Region National Capital Region
Districts Lone District of San Juan
Incorporated 1623 (town)
Incorporated 17 June 2007 (cityhood)[1]
Barangays 21
Government[3]
 • Mayor Guia Gomez (Partido Magdiwang-UNA)
 • Vice Mayor Janella Marie V. Ejército (Partido Magdiwang)
 • Representative Ronaldo Zamora (Nacionalista Party)
 • Sangguniang Panlungsod
Area[4][5]
 • Total 5.87 km2 (2.27 sq mi)
Elevation 17.0 m (55.8 ft)
Population (2015 census)[6]
 • Total 122,180
 • Density 21,000/km2 (54,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) San Juaneño (m), San Juaneña (f)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip code 1500–1504
Area code +63 (0)02
Website www.sanjuancity.gov.ph

San Juan is the smallest city in the Philippines located east of Manila. It is historically known as the site of the first battle of the Katipunan, the organization which led the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire. It is a part of Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 122,180.[6]

Etymology[edit]

"San Juan City" is a contraction of the city's traditional name of San Juan del Monte (English: "Saint John of the Mountain"). As with numerous other places in the Philippines, the name combines a patron saint and a toponym; in this case Saint John the Baptist with the locale's hilly terrain and relatively higher elevation compared to surrounding areas.

The city's official name is Dakilang Lungsód ng San Juan (English: "Great City of San Juan").

Geography[edit]

San Juan is bounded by Quezon City on the north and east, Mandaluyong on the south, and the City of Manila in the west.

The territory of San Juan was once much larger than it is now, extending all the way to what is now Caloocan City. Parts of the present-day Districts 1, 4 and 6 of Quezon City as well as areas of Mandaluyong were originally within the town's colonial-era borders. This also explains why San Juan Reservoir is in nearby Horseshoe Village, a subdivision now part of Quezon City.

Barangays[edit]

San Juan is politically subdivided into 21 barangays:

History[edit]

During the pre-Hispanic period, the area of what is now San Juan was a part of the Kingdom of Namayan, whose last recorded rulers were King Lacantagean and his consort, Bouan. After the kingdom and other polities in the islands were absorbed into the Spanish Crown in the late 16th century, the realm of Namayan was christened Santa Ana de Sapa. The present area of San Juan was meanwhile re-classified as a barrio, becoming a small encomienda by 1590.

In 1602, the Dominicans built a retreat house in the vicinity for their immediate use, where ageing or convalescing friars stayed. Later, the Order constructed a convent and stone church dedicated to the Holy Cross. To this day, the thrice-rebuilt Santuario del Santo Cristo stands on the same site, adjacent to Aquinas School and Dominican College.

In 1783, San Juan was partitioned from Santa Ana but was still a barrio within the Province of Manila. The opening salvo of the Philippine Revolution against Spain took place in San Juan in 1897 when the Katipunan attacked the alamacén (armoury) or polvorín (gunpowder magazine) of the Spanish East Indies colonial government. The town was later incorporated into the Province of Rizal in 1901 under American military rule.

On 7 November 1975, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree № 824 that established the National Capital Region, and San Juan was among the towns excised from Rizal Province. Residents ratified the conversion of the municipality into a highly urbanised city on 16 June 2008, pursuant to Republic Act № 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 in the House of Representatives and worked for its approval.[7]

Presidential ties[edit]

Although not officially designated as such, San Juan is noted to be the "Town of Philippine Presidents." Four presidents since the Third Republic were official residents of San Juan when they assumed office. They were the Macapagal père et fille, Diosdado Sr. (1961–1965) and Gloria Arroyo (2001–2010); Ferdinand Marcos (1965–1986); and Joseph Estrada (1998–2001), who also served as Mayor when San Juan was still a municipality.

Demographics[edit]

Population census of San Juan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 126,854 —    
1995 124,187 −0.40%
2000 117,680 −1.15%
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2007 125,338 +0.87%
2010 121,430 −1.15%
2015 122,180 +0.12%
Source: National Statistics Office[6][8]

Places of interest[edit]

Among the many interesting places in San Juan are the Pinaglabanan Shrine, which marks the 1897 battle of the Philippine Revolution, Greenhills Shopping Center, a popular bargain mall for consumer electronics, clothing and other merchandise, and the FilOil Flying V Arena or known as San Juan Arena for sporting events.

The city also has several notable places of worship. Saint John the Baptist Parish, more commonly known as "Pinaglabanan Church", is where the city's patron saint, John the Baptist, is enshrined. The Santuario del Santo Cristo is the settlement's oldest existing church, while Mary the Queen Parish in West Greenhills serves the local Filipino-Chinese community, and is a popular venue for weddings.

From 1925-1971, the Iglesia ni Cristo once headquartered in the town at its former Central Office Complex, now known as the Locale of F. Manalo. It features Art-Deco designed ensembles, crafted by National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil. The Chapel is the centerpiece of the Complex, which also contains the old Central Office and Pastoral House which was the home of the church's first Executive Minister, Ka Felix Manalo, along with other Ministers and Evangelical Workers. When Manalo died in 1963, a mausoleum was constructed on the grounds of the Complex by architect Carlos Santos-Viola.

Transportation[edit]

The J. Ruiz Station is the only rail and rapid transit station serving San Juan.

Modes of public transportation in San Juan include jeepneys and buses. Jeepney routes ply the Aurora Boulevard (R-6). The city is serviced by the LRT-2. The only LRT station in San Juan is the J. Ruiz Station. The C-3 (Araneta Avenue) also passes through San Juan. Secondary routes include Nicanor Domingo (abbreviated N. Domingo), which heads towards Cubao in Quezon City, and Pinaglabanan/Santolan Avenue, which leads towards Ortigas Avenue and eventually the southern reaches of Quezon City near Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police.

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Primary[edit]

  • Kabayanan Elementary School
  • Pedro Cruz Day Care Center
  • Pinaglabanan Elementary School
  • Progreso Day Care Center
  • San Juan (Central) Elementary School
  • San Perfecto Day Care Center
  • Santa Lucia Day Care Center
  • Tibagan Day Care Center
  • West Crame Day Care Center

Secondary[edit]

  • San Juan National High School (formerly San Juan Municipal High School)

Tertiary[edit]

Private schools[edit]

Culture[edit]

Given their city's role in the 1896 Revolution, San Juaneños are known for their fierce patriotism and localism. They for the most part choose to stay within city limits for work, education, and residence. Popular perception is that locals prefer to introduce new businesses and franchises to San Juan instead of patronising similar establishments located just outside the city boundaries. An effect of this is that San Juan is known for its increasing number of small- to medium-sized restaurants that are often independent of larger, more established chains. These restaurants vary in their offerings, ranging from non-mainstream international cuisine to vegetarian food, as well as several cake shops and dessert cafés.

Saint John's Day (Wattah-Wattah! Festival)[edit]

San Juan is renowned for its celebration of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist every year of June 24. In a nod to the saint's characteristic act, San Juaneños engage in Basaan ("wetting"), where revellers splash people with water. Devotees and residents believe that getting wet during the Basaan brings blessings, and that it is antisocial to be irate when doused. Pedestrians and vehicles with open windows are favourite targets, and in recent years an ordinance curtailing the Basaan at noon was enacted after complaints from non-residents and commuters.

Basaan is also practised in other Filipino towns that honour John the Baptist as patron, such as San Juan, Batangas, and Calumpit, Bulacan. The festival was officially named Wattah-Wattah Festival (a corruption of "water-water") by former Mayor (now Senator) JV Ejército. The revelry is similar in form yet unrelated to the merrymaking done during the Thai festival of Songkran and the Hindu feast of Holi.

Government Center[edit]

The old government center of San Juan is located at Nicanor Domingo street corner Antonio Luna street.[12] The Commonwealth-era structure, which stands in front of San Juan Medical Center, is preserved for historical reasons. Its new government center is at Pinaglabanan Street corner Doctor P.A. Narciso Street, fronting the Pinaglabanan Shrine and a few metres from Saint John the Baptist Parish. It began operation in February 2013.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Local[edit]

International[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]