CITY GUIDE: Tourist and hangout places to visit in Valenzuela City

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED April 11, 2018 09:51 am

(Inside Manila) Valenzuela City—named after the doctor and Katipunan member Pio Valenzuela—used to be an agricultural rural area. But today, it is classified as a highly urbanized, first-class city based on income classification and number of population.

Bordered by Bulacan and cities of Caloocan, Malabon and Quezon City, Valenzuela, as a town, was originally called as Polo (from Tagalog word Pulo), initially formed in 1621 after separation from Meycauayan (Bulacan).

In 1960, then-President Carlos P. Garcia ordered the split of Polo's southern barangays to form another town named as Valenzuela. The split was revoked by President Diosdado Macapagal in 1963 after political disagreements and the new merged town was named Valenzuela. The modern-day Valenzuela with its borders was chartered in 1998.

Through the years, Valenzuela has grown into a major economic and industrial center not only of Metro Manila but also the whole country itself as a large number of industries relocated to the central parts of the city.

Recently, the city was named 2nd safest city in the whole Southeast Asia, preceded only to regional dynamo Singapore. This accolade may catapult the city’s tourism potential backed by its rich and colorful history.

One of those thinking to explore Valenzuela’s concealed reserves? Here are some places within the city that you may consider visiting.

Residence of Dr. Pio Valenzuela

Residence of Dr. Pio Valenzuela. Image:

Pio Valenzuela was regarded as a member of the Katipunan triumvirate that started the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial authorities in 1896. He was born in this house on July 11, 1869. The property can be found along Velilla Street in Barangay Pariancillo Villa. It has become one of Valenzuela City’s main attractions.

Bell Tower of San Diego de Alcala Church

San Diego de Alcala Parish Church and old church belfry ruins. Image:

San Diego de Alcala Church is the oldest church in the city, built by Father Juan Taranco and finished by Father Jose Valencia in 1632. It was destroyed during the World War II but its soaring belfry remained standing. The bell tower is a cultural and religious relic of the bygone Spanish era. A new church has since been rebuilt and renovated adjacent to the ruins, serving as an aesthetic counterpoint to the largely unchanged tower.

Arkong Bato

Arkong Bato in the 1960's. Image:

Located along M.H. Del Pilar Street, the structure was built by the Americans in 1910, and served as the boundary between Rizal and Bulacan province. Even before the existence of MacArthur Highway and North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Valenzuela was already the gateway to the north. Today, the Arkong Bato marks the boundary between Barangay Santulan in Malabon and the arch’s namesake, Barangay Arkong Bato in Valenzuela.

Museo Valenzuela

Museo Valenzuela. Image:

Museo Valenzuela is the city's historical and cultural landmark that features collections of artifacts depicting the city's colorful past and continuing development. It also serves as a repository of the city's rich heritage and a beacon of light to its people and guests. It is likewise a venue for historical, cultural, and artistic presentations as well as seminars and symposia on national and local issues.

National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima

National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Image:

Declared a tourist site by the Department of Tourism in 1982, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is the center of the Philippine Fatima apostolate located inside the Our Lady of Fatima University campus in Marulas, Valenzuela. It was also declared as one of the three major pilgrimage sites aside from the National Shrine of St. Anne in Hagonoy and the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Marilao.

After a tiring city traverse, you may want to check some of Valenzuela’s hangout places like the Arca Yard Food Park and Ethan’s Café. Watch our videos below.

Arca Yard

Ethan’s Café



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