In the tapestry of Pasig's history, the meandering waterway known as Bitukang Manok emerges as a vital thread, intertwining with the narrative of the Pasig River and shaping the cultural and economic fabric of the region.

Originally dubbed "Rio de Pasig" by the Spanish colonizers, the local populace continued to affectionately refer to it as Bitukang Manok, an homage to its serpentine-like flow.

This waterway was not merely a geographical feature; it played a central role in the daily lives of Pasiguenos. The banks of Bitukang Manok thrived as the bustling public market until the 1970s, mirroring the pulse of economic activity in the region.


Bitukang Manok, synonymous with the Pasig River, served as a lifeline for Pasig's agricultural prosperity. Its waters irrigated the rice plains, contributing significantly to the city's economic sustenance from time immemorial.

Linking the Pasig River with the Antipolo River, Bitukang Manok carved a historic path. Pilgrims from Manila and nearby towns traversed its waters during the 17th to the early 20th century, en route to the Shrine in Antipolo. The revered image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, a symbol of spiritual devotion, also traversed this route multiple times, leaving an indelible mark on the water's sacred significance.

" Rio de Pinagbujatan" - Section taken from "Plano Topográfico de Manila y sus Contornos" Cuerpo de Ingenieros/ Manila 1823. Biblioteca Virtual de Defensa (Spain)

The 18th century witnessed the construction of the Pariancillo Bridge, a concrete-covered bridge fashioned like a pagoda, built by the Gremio de Mestizos de Sangley or Chinese Mestizos. Later named Fray Felix Trillo Bridge in honor of Pasig's dynamic pastor, this bridge added architectural charm to the already historic waterway.

Bitukang Manok played a pivotal role in the Philippine Revolution. In the first week of May 1896, the Katipunan, led by Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, held a crucial assembly aboard seventeen bancas on this very river. It became a poignant symbol of unity and resistance against colonial forces.

A bridge over Parian Creek and the Pasig Cathedral in the background in 1910.

However, the post-war era witnessed a decline in the prominence of Bitukang Manok, exacerbated by environmental pollution due to rapid population growth. The late 1960s marked a tragic chapter as the river, already ailing, was buried underground to make way for commercial establishments, signaling a departure from its once-vibrant past.


Despite its subterranean existence, the legacy of Bitukang Manok lives on in the form of a developed promenade along its former course. Stretching 3.6 kilometers, this walkway, beginning in front of McDonald's and culminating at Asahi Glass in Pinagbuhatan, stands as a testament to the resilience of Pasig's history.

Parian Creek in 2023

It invites modern-day wanderers to tread upon the same path that once bore witness to pilgrimages, historic assemblies, and the ebb and flow of Pasig's vibrant life along the serpentine waters of Bitukang Manok.

Where to Stay in Pasig

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