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Pasig River


Pasig River

Pasig River
Country Philippines
Regions National Capital Region, Calabarzon
 - left Pateros-Taguig River, San Juan River
 - right Marikina River, Napindan River
Cities Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig
Source Laguna de Bay
 - coordinates
Mouth Manila Bay
 - location Manila
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates
Length 27 km (17 mi)
Basin 570 km2 (220 sq mi)
A drainage map of the Pasig-Marikina River system

The Pasig River (Filipino: Ilog Pasig, Spanish: Río Pásig), is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Stretching for 25 kilometres (15.5 mi), it bisects the Philippine capital of Manila and its surrounding urban area into northern and southern halves. Its major tributaries are the Marikina River and San Juan River.

The Pasig River is technically a tidal estuary, as the flow direction depends upon the water level difference between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay. During the dry season, the water level in Laguna de Bay is low with the river's flow direction dependent on the tides. During the wet season, when the water level of Laguna de Bay is high, the flow is reversed towards Manila Bay.

The Pasig River used to be an important transport route and source of water for peso for the Pasig") campaign in the 1990s.


  • Geography 1
    • Tributaries and canals 1.1
    • Crossings 1.2
    • Landmarks 1.3
  • Geology 2
    • Tidal flows 2.1
    • Flooding 2.2
  • History 3
    • Pollution 3.1
    • Rehabilitation efforts 3.2
  • Gallery 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Pasig River winds generally north-westward for some 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) from the Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, to Manila Bay, in the southern part of the island of Luzon. From the lake, the river runs between Taguig and Taytay, Rizal, before entering Pasig. This portion of the Pasig River, to the confluence with the Marikina River tributary, is known as the Napindan River or Napindan Channel.

From there, the Pasig forms flows through Pasig until its confluence with the Taguig River, From here, it forms the border between Mandaluyong to the north and Makati to the south.. The river then sharply turns northeast, where it has become the border between Mandaluyong and Manila before turning again westward, joining its other major tributary, the San Juan River, and then following a sinuous path through the center of Manila before emptying into the bay.

The whole river and most portions of its tributaries lie entirely within Metro Manila, the metropolitan region of the capital. Isla de Convalecencia, the only island dividing the Pasig River, can be found in Manila and it is where the Hospicio de San Jose is located.

Tributaries and canals

One major river that drains Laguna de Bay is the Taguig River, which enters into Taguig before becoming the Pateros River; it is the border between the municipalities of Pateros and Makati City. Pateros River then enters the confluence where the Napindan Channel and Marikina River meet. The Marikina River is the larger of the two major tributaries of the Pasig River, and it flows southward from the mountains of Rizal and cuts through the Marikina Valley. The San Juan River drains the plateau on which Quezon City stands; its major tributary is Diliman Creek.

Within the city of Manila, various esteros (canals) criss-cross through the city and connect with the Tullahan River in the north and the Parañaque River to the west.


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

A total of 19 bridges cross the river. The first bridge from the source at the Laguna de Bay is the Napindan Bridge, followed by the Arsenio Jimenez Bridge. Crossing the Napindan Channel in Pasig is the Bambang Bridge. The Latest Bridge Built is Buting-Sumilang Bridge Connecting Barangays Buting and Sumilang in Pasig,[1] was opened February, 2015. Bridge Downstream is the C-5 Road (Felix Manalo) Bridge connecting the cities of Makati and Pasig. The Guadalupe Bridge between Makati and Mandaluyong carries Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the major highway of Metro Manila, (together with MRT-3 from Guadalupe Station to Boni Station). The Rockwell Bridge and Makati-Mandaluyong Boundary Bridge are another bridges that connect the two cities downstream and forms the end of Makati Avenue.

The easternmost bridge in Manila is the Lambingan Bridge in the district of Sta. Ana, followed by the Padre Zamora (Pandacan) Bridge between Pandacan and Santa Mesa, which also carries the southern line of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). The Mabini Bridge (formerly Nagtahan Bridge) provides a crossing for Nagtahan Avenue, part of the C-2 Road. Ayala Bridge carries Ayala Boulevard and connects Isla de Convalescencia to both banks.

Further downstream are the Quezon Bridge from Quiapo to Ermita, the LRT-1 bridge from Central Terminal Station to Carriedo Station, MacArthur Bridge from Sta. Cruz to Ermita, and the Jones Bridge from Binondo to Ermita. The last bridge near the mouth of Pasig River is the Roxas Bridge formerly called Del Pan Bridge) from Tondo to Port Area.


The growth of Manila along the banks of the Pasig River has made it a focal point for development and historical events. The foremost landmark on the banks of the river is the walled district of Intramuros, located near the mouth of the river on its southern bank. It was built by the Spanish colonial government in the 16th century. Further upstream is the Hospicio de San Jose, an orphanage located on Pasig's sole island, the Isla de Convalescencia. On the northern bank stands Malacañan Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Also on Pasig River's northern bank and within the Manila district of Sta. Mesa is the main campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

In Makati City, along the southern bank of Pasig, is the Sta. Ana Racetrack and the Rockwell Commercial Center, a high-end office and commercial area containing the Power Plant Mall. At the confluence of the Pasig and Marikina rivers is the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure, which regulates the flow of water from the Napindan Channel.


A landsat image of Manila Bay-Laguna de Bay area; Pasig River can be seen on the right.

The Pasig River's main watershed is concentrated in the plains between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay. The watershed of the Marikina River tributary mostly occupies the Marikina Valley, which was formed by the Marikina Fault Line. The Manggahan Floodway is an artificially constructed waterway that aims to reduce the flooding in the Marikina Valley during the rainy season, by bringing excess water to the Laguna de Bay.

Tidal flows

The Pasig River is technically considered a tidal estuary. Toward the end of the summer or dry season (April and May), the water level in Laguna de Bay reaches to a minimum of 10.5 meters. During times of high tide, the water level in the lake may drop below that of Manila Bay's, resulting in a reverse flow of seawater from the bay into the lake. This results in increased pollution and salinity levels in Laguna de Bay at this time of the year.[2]


The Pasig River is vulnerable to flooding in times of very heavy rainfall, with the Marikina River tributary the main source of the floodwater. The Manggahan Floodway was constructed to divert excess floodwater from the Marikina River into the Laguna de Bay, which serves as a temporary reservoir. By design, the Manggahan Floodway is capable of handling 2,400 cubic meters per second of water flow, with the actual flow being about 2,000 cubic meters per second. To complement the floodway, the Napindan Hydraulic Control System (NHCS) was built in 1983 at the confluence of the Marikina River and the Napindan Channel to regulate the flow of water between the Pasig River and the lake.[3]


The Pasig River in 1899.
A PRRC perspective sketch design of the Pasig River in "the future".

Before the mass urbanization of Manila, the Pasig River served as an important means of transport; it was the city's lifeline and center of economic activity. Some of the most prominent kingdoms in early Philippine history, including the kingdoms of Namayan, Maynila, and Tondo grew up along the banks of the river, drawing their life and source of wealth from it. When the Spanish established Manila as the capital of their colonial properties in the Far East, they built the walled city of Intramuros on the southern bank of Pasig River near its mouth.According to Meranau Pasig is Pasig also, Kapamasig (e.g.Pasig kanu! angkanu de khaanod!).


After World War II, massive population growth, infrastructure construction, and the dispersal of economic activities to Manila's suburbs left the river neglected. The banks of the river attracted informal settlers and the remaining factories dumped their wastes into the river, making it effectively a huge sewer system. Industrialization had already polluted the river.[4]

In the 1930s, observers noticed the increasing pollution of the river, as fish migration from Laguna de Bay diminished. People ceased using the river's water for laundering in the 1960s, and ferry transport declined. By the 1970s, the river started to emanate offensive smells, and in the 1980s, fishing in the river was prohibited. By the 1990s, the Pasig River was considered biologically dead[4]

Rehabilitation efforts

Efforts to revive the river began in December 1989 with the help of Danish authorities. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Program (PRRP) was established, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the main agency with the coordination of the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA).[5]

In 1999, President Joseph Estrada signed Executive Order No. 54 establishing the PRRC to replace the old PRRP with additional expanded powers such as managing of wastes and resettling of squatters.[5]

In 2010, the TV network ABS-CBN and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission headed by ABS-CBN Foundation-Bantay Kalikasan Director Gina Lopez - currently serving as a chairperson of PRRC - launched a fun run fund-raising activity called "Run for the Pasig River" held every month of October. The proceeds from the fun run will serve as a fund for the "Kapit-bisig para sa Ilog Pasig" (Collaborate for Pasig River) rehabilitation project of Pasig River.


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ (Laguna de Bay) Lake Elevation - Laguna Lake Development Authority
  3. ^ Laguna de Bay Masterplan - Laguna Lake Development Authority
  4. ^ a b Pasig River Rehabilitation Program
  5. ^ a b "A dying river comes back to life" - Santelices, Menchit. Philippine Information Agency.

External links

  • Philippine Information Agency article on Pasig River
  • Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission
  • Iloilo River
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