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Marikina River

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Title: Marikina River  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of rivers and estuaries in Metro Manila, Manggahan Floodway, Barangka, Batasan Hills, Metro Manila
Collection: Rivers of Metro Manila, Tributaries of Laguna De Bay
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Marikina River

Marikina River (Ilog ng Marikina)
Marikina River in Pasig City
Country Philippines
Regions National Capital Region, CALABARZON
Cities Marikina City, San Mateo, Quezon City, Pasig City
 - location Rodriguez, Rizal, CALABARZON
Mouth Pasig River
 - location Pasig City, National Capital Region
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates
Drainage map of the Pasig-Marikina River River system
Marikina River Park

Marikina River (Tagalog: Ilog Marikina) is a river in eastern Metro Manila, Philippines. It is a tributary of Pasig River with headwaters located in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Rodriguez, Rizal province.

Marikina River used to be an important transport route during the Spanish colonial era, but its importance as a transport route diminished when the Philippines' national highway system became more established. The resulting lack of river boat traffic and the deforestation of the upland areas in what is now the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape contributed to the river's siltation, further reducing its value as a transport route.[1]

Due to negligence and industrial development, the river has become very polluted, an act which recent Marikina City administrations have attempted to address.


  • The Marikina River system 1
    • Tributary Waterways 1.1
      • Rodriguez, Rizal 1.1.1
      • San Mateo, Rizal 1.1.2
      • City of Marikina 1.1.3
        • Marikina River landmarks in Marikina City
      • Adjacent Creeks 1.1.4
  • Ecology 2
  • Bridges 3
  • Significant Floods 4
    • Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy 4.1
    • Typhoon Meari/Falcon 4.2
    • Typhoon Nesat/Pedring 4.3
    • 2012 Southwest Monsoon rains/Habagat 4.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

The Marikina River system

In Brgy. Wawa in Rodriguez, the Marikina River is dammed by Wawa Dam, a structure built during the early 1900s to provide water for Manila.[2] From Rodriguez, the river flows through San Mateo then to its namesake city of Marikina. In Pasig City, the river meets the gates of the Manggahan Floodway, a controlled waterway used to prevent flooding in Manila during heavy rains by diverting most of the water of the Marikina towards Laguna de bay instead of Pasig River. Located 6.75 kilometres (4.19 mi) downstream is the confluence of Marikina and Pasig Rivers.[3]

The river's depth ranges from 3–21 meters and spans from 70–120 meters. It has a total area of nearly 75.2 hectares and is 27 kilometers long.[4] The riverbank has an elevation of 8 meters above sea level at the boundary of San Mateo and Marikina. This slowly goes down at an elevation of 4 meters nearly before the Malanday and Santo Niño boundary. The lowest elevation is along Calumpang which 2 meters above sea level.

Tributary Waterways

The Marikina River has a number of tributaries in the form of creeks and rivers, and at least one former river-section in Marikina's Barangay Tumana from which the original flow of the river has been diverted. These tributaries drain four municipalities and one city in the Province of Rizal, and three cities in the Philippines' National Capital Region.[5]

Rodriguez, Rizal

The biggest of these tributaries are upstream in the more mountainous areas of Rodriguez. This includes the Tayabasan and Montalban rivers, the Boso Boso River, and the Wawa River, which meets the Marikina River just upstream of Wawa Dam. Further downstream from the dam, but still in the town of Rodriguez are the Puray river (which flows near Avilon Zoo), and the Manga river.[5]

San Mateo, Rizal

Up till this point the river follows a more or less East-West direction until San Jose, Rodriguez, where it takes a sharp North-South turn towards the Municipality of San Mateo, where the Ampid River forms the boundary between Barangays Maly and Ampid. At this point across the River in Quezon City, Calamiong Creek drains Barangay Bagong Silang.[6] Further downstream the Nangka River and its own tributary in the Sapang Labo Creek mark the Boundary between San Mateo and Marikina.[5][7]

City of Marikina

Somewhere north of Brgy Tumana in Marikina marks a point at which an American Colonial Era levee shifted the flow of Marikina River west, away from the population center of Sitio Bayanbayanan (Now known as Concepcion Uno), where erosion had been a problem. The construction of a levee left behind a remnant waterway now known as Patay na Ilog (literally "Dead River", referring to the former path of the river) where the original path of the river once traversed, which rejoins the Marikina River just south of Tumana Bridge. The dredging for this American era levee left behind a large stone outcropping just below water level where the Marikina's children would play, back when the water was still clean, such that this part of the river is still called "luksong kabayo".[8]

The name of Barangay Tumana refers to the Tagalog word for a wide level land just above water level. The area was considered ideal for vegetable farming due to the rich riversoil, and the annual inundation of the area by the Marikina River during rainy season, which prevented crawling insect pests from staying permanently. This area was eventually also used for riversoil quarrying and saw an influx of informal settlers which turned it into a residential area, eventually becoming a separate Barangay from Concepcion, with Patay na Ilog forming part of the boundary.[5][8]

Further south on the Quezon City side Barangay Pansol is drained by Pansol Creek, with headwaters reaching as far up to just behind the University of the Philippines Integrated School Campus. Even Further South in Barangay Malanday, Marikina, the Lamuan-Bulelak creek also empties into the Marikina River, although its precise mouth area has been blurred by the construction of residential buildings.

Marikina River landmarks in Marikina City

Adjacent Creeks

In Marikina city, numerous other creeks flow nearby the Marikina river but are not directly connected. These include the Bankaan Creek in Barangay Parang, the Concepcion Creek in Barangay Concepcion Dos, and the Usiw Creek in Barangay Sta Elena. Instead, these waterways are linked in a complex network with the Balanti, Halang, and Muntingdilao Creeks and the Sapang Baho River, eventually emptying into Manggahan Floodway and Laguna de Bay.


Marikina River is on the verge of an ecological imbalance as a strange species of fish has dominated its ecosystem. Since the late 1990s, the Marikina River has been infestated by janitor fish. Before, the river was thriving with local species martiniko, ayungin and biya.

The growing fish population has prompted the city government to launch a new program to control their number. The city issued Ordinance 004, series of 2007, launching Janitor Fish Eradication Drive in the City of Marikina, granting cash incentives to participants, appropriating annually fifty thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) for the purpose.[9]

A scientific study of the species found in five locations in the Laguna de Bay tributary system, including the Marikina River, revealed that the specimen of janitor fish previously reported as Hypostomus plecostomus actually belong to the genus Pterygoplichthys, family Loricariidae. The collected specimens for this study consisted of two species; Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus and Pterygoplichthys pardalis. Both species were collected from the Marikina River. Only the species disjunctivus was collected from Pasig River.[10][11]


Marikina River is located in Metro Manila
Locations of the river's bridges within Metro Manila

A total of 10 bridges cross the river. They are as follows: Batasan Bridge Quezon City to San Mateo, Rizal (near Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City), Gil Fernando "formerly called Tumana", Marikina, Marcos (together with MRT-2 from Katipunan Station to Santolan Station), Macapagal Bridge (Marikina City), Manalo, Rosario, Sandoval and Santa Rosa de Lima Bridge (Pasig City).

Significant Floods

Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy

On 26 September 2009 at about 6:00 pm PST, Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila and dumped one month's rainfall in less than 24 hours, causing the Marikina River system, including the Manggahan Floodway, to burst its banks very rapidly. Along with flooding along other river systems, 80 percent of the National Capital Region became flooded. Also flooded were 25 nearby provinces. In Metro Manila alone, 20 feet (6.1 m) of dirty water forced people to evacuate their homes. By the 30th of September at least 450,000 inhabitants had been displaced, with at last 380,000 forced into makeshift shelters. 246 people were reported dead. It is thought that blocked pipes and a poorly maintained sewerage system, along with uncollected domestic waste, were major contributory factors in the speed with which the flood waters were able to engulf the surrounding area. A State of National Calamity was declared by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and a task force was set up to rescue the inhabitants, however the government was forced to admit that resources were in short supply, and called for world assistance. Although, good efforts have been made to make the drainage system better for the whole city by fixing the sewers together with the new trademarked "Red Sidewalks".

This is the worst storm on record that Metro Manila has experienced since 1967.

Typhoon Meari/Falcon

On 24 June 2011, heavy rains of Severe Tropical Storm Meari affected Luzon including Metro Manila. The water level in Marikina River reached its critical level, flooding beside its riverbanks, just near along the river. Fortunately, the water level did not reach its higher banks, into the streets and communities. No casualties were reported but the mud and debris from the river was left by overflowed riverbanks.

Typhoon Nesat/Pedring

On 27 September 2011, Typhoon Pedring dumped heavy rains like Ondoy over Luzon including Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Marikina's water level reached a higher level than 24 June 2011, reaching 20.1 metres (66 ft) by 5pm. The flood submerged houses in several barangays of Marikina City and San Mateo. SM Marikina Basement Parking submerged in muddy water. No deaths were recorded in Marikina, but in San Mateo, there is one. The day after, the Marikina River returned in critical level. On 29 September 2011, 5 am, water subsided in the banks of the river and the residents started to clean. 6 am in the morning, water reaches 15.2 meters.

2012 Southwest Monsoon rains/Habagat

Although located hundreds of kilometres away from the Philippines, the southerly flow from Typhoon Haikui in early August, 2012 enhanced the southwest monsoon across much of Luzon.[12] As a result, widespread heavy rains impacted regions still recovering from deadly floods triggered by Typhoon Saola less than a week earlier.[13] During a 22 hour span from 6–7 August, 687 mm (27.0 in) of rain fell in parts of Metro Manila, leading local media to compare the event to Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, which killed 464 in the city.[14] Some of the most severe flooding took place along the Marikina River, which swelled to near-record levels. During the afternoon of 7 August, the river reached a height of 20.6 m (68 ft), well beyond the flood level of 16 m (52 ft) and about 3 m (9.8 ft) below the record level set during Typhoon Ketsana. About 70 percent of Metro Manila was affected by flooding.[15] Some areas were submerged in up to 3 m (9.8 ft).[16] Due to the expanding floods, officials in the city evacuated more than 23,000 residents from flood-prone areas and relocated them to shelters set up across the area.[15] According to a reporter from the British Broadcasting Corporation, many residents were reluctant to leave their belongings behind, and some traveled back through flood waters to retrieve their belongings. Officials feared the flooding could worsen as the La Mesa Dam continued to overflow at the time.[17] At least nine people were killed and four others were injured in a landslide in Quezon City.[18] More than fifty people died on this day.[19]

This was the worst rain in non-direct typhoon or tropical storm on record that Metro Manila has experienced since 2009, surpassing the accumulated amount of rain brought by Typhoon Ketsana.

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ "Final List of Watersheds Supporting 140 River Irrigation System of the NIA", pg. 5. Green Army Network. Retrieved on 2012-08-15.
  3. ^ "Manggahan Floodway". Google Maps. Retrieved on 2012-08-15.
  4. ^ Badilla, Roy. "Flood Modelling in Pasig-River Basin". 
  5. ^ a b c d David, CP. "Reconstructing the Tropical Storm Ketsana flood event in Marikina River, Philippines". Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "QC to Relocate More ISF's Away from Danger Zones". Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "DENR orders Marikina, MMDA to remove trash from Nangka River". Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Know Your Barangay". 
  9. ^ "Ordinance No. 004". 
  10. ^ "New Philippine record of south american sailfin catfishes (Pisces: Loricariidae)". Zootaxa. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ American Chronicle | Janitor Fish Threatens Asia's Largest Marshland
  12. ^ """SitRep No.1 re Effects of Southwest Monsoon Enhanced by TS "Haikui (PDF). National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  13. ^ "China evacuates 450,000 after Philippines turned into 'waterworld' by Typhoon Haikui". The Telegraph. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Southwest monsoon brings more rains than Ondoy". GMA News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "PAGASA: 23,000 residents evacuated as Marikina River continues to swell". GMA News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Manila floods force 270,000 to flee". Reuters. Financial Times. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ Kate McGeown (August 7, 2012). "Floods paralyse Philippine capital Manila". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  18. ^ """SitRep No.2 re Effects of Southwest Monsoon Enhanced by TS "Haikui (PDF). National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  19. ^ Floyd Whaley (August 7, 2012). "Rains Flood Manila Area, Sending Thousands Fleeing". The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 

External links

  • Marikina City Community Portal
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