San Miguel

Crossing a canal, we follow Mendiola Street into the San Miguel quarter. In this area are a number of schools and colleges, the most famous of which is the Colegio San Beda, with a beautiful chapel dedicated to the Christ Child of Prague (rich decoration, painted ceilings).

Along J.P. Laurel Avenue (named after the President of that name) and Solano Street (Spanish governor, 1860), is the church of San Miguel, which served as a cathedral during the periods when the Cathedral in Intramuros was destroyed, and cross the Pasig on Ayala Bridge (named after a leading Filipino family), built after the war to replace an earlier bridge of 1980.

To the left, upstream, is Con Valecencia Island, on which is the San Jose Hospice for orphans and old people, run since 1782 by nuns of St. Vincent de Paul. The name of the island comes from its earlier use as a place of convalescence for Spanish troops recovering from illness or wounds.

Visitors with sufficient time at their disposal can continue beyond the Malacañang Palace and cross the Pasig on another bridge farther upstream, Mabini Bridge or Nagtahan Bridge. On the banks of the river at the south end of the bridge, to the right, is the Mabini Shrine, a modest wooden house with a roof of palm leaves which was once occupied by Mabini, now a museum. It formerly stood on the north bank of the river, but was moved to its present site in 1960.