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Santa Ana, Manila

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Santa Ana, Manila

Santa Ana, Manila

Location of Sta. Ana in Manila

City Manila
Population (2007) 178,769[1]
 – Density per km²
Area km²
 – Barangays 99[1]
 – Cong. Districts 6th District

Santa Ana is a district of the City of Manila in the Philippines, located at the southeast banks of the Pasig River, bounded on the northeast by Mandaluyong City, Makati City to the east, southwest is the Manila district of Paco, and to the west, Pandacan.

Santa Ana belongs to the 6th congressional district of Manila with thirty-two barangays from Zone 96 to 100, barangays 874 to 905. Based on the 2000 national census, the National Statistics Office reports that Santa Ana has about 34,694 households, and an approximate 83,306 registered voters based on the national elections of 2004.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Pre-Colonial 2.1
    • Spanish Colonial Period 2.2
  • Attractions 3
    • The Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned of Santa Ana 3.1
    • Taoist temple 3.2
    • Iglesia ni Cristo Museum at Punta 3.3
    • American Eagle Club 3.4
  • Notable residents 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
    • Footnotes 6.1
    • Sources 6.2


The district was originally called Santa Ana de Sapa after its titular patroness Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, and the Tagalog word sapà ("creek", "stream", "rivulet"), the local name of the main settlement in the area that sat beside a rivulet connecting to the Pasig River.[2]



Archaeological excavations of a pre-Hispanic grave site within the Santa Ana Church complex and its vicinities in the 1960s have revealed the antiquity of the district, which dates back to around 900 to 1,000 years .[3][4] Chinese ceramics from the Sung and Ming dynasties have been found associated with the burials, indicating the active participation of the early communities in Santa Ana in the extensive maritime trade around Southeast Asia and China from 12th to 15th century AD, as well as the elaborate mortuary practices of its inhabitants.[4]

Santa Ana was at the centre of the ancient polity of Namayan. According to Felix Huerta, a 19th-century Franciscan scholar and missionary, the original inhabitants of Namayan trace their roots to a ruler named Lacantagcan/Lakan Tagkan and his wife Bouan/Buwan ("moon"), who were said to have resided in this village. Other territories that belonged to the dominions of Lakan Tagkan and Buwan included the modern Manila districts of Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Quiapo, Sampaloc and San Miguel; the cities of Pasay, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Makati; and the municipality of Taytay in Rizal Province.[2]

Spanish Colonial Period

The Spaniards established settlements in Santa Ana that served as the seat of Namayan, with the area awarded to the Franciscan missionaries. They were the first to establish a mission beyond the walls of Intramuros, the colonial seat of power in Manila, in 1578. The church as it stands today was first built in 1720 and is known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados).[5]

Edmund Roberts visited Santa Ana in 1832, writing about it in his travelogue, Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat.[6]


The Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Santa Ana

The Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned of Santa Ana

The Church of Santa Ana (Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Santa Ana) stands on the site of the first Franciscan mission established outside Manila in 1578. The church was built under the supervision of Fr. Vicente Ingles, OFM. The cornerstone of the present church was laid on September 12, 1720 by Francisco dela Cuesta, then Archbishop of Manila and Acting Governor General of the Philippines.

The church itself is among the List of Cultural Properties of the Philippines. In addition, the church convent's patio museum and the Camarin de la Virgen have been declared as National Cultural Treasures.

Taoist temple

The Taoist temple of Santa Ana

Across the street behind the Santa Ana church (Lamayan Street) is an old Taoist temple dedicated to Pao Ong Hu, a venerated Chinese historical figure whom people pray for justice, and to the Lady of the Abandoned (Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados), of which the temple referred to as the Mother of Santa Ana. The date of its construction has not yet been determined; however, records indicate its existence as early as the 1920s.[7] According to the oral tradition the temple, particularly the shrine dedicated to the Our Lady of the Abandoned, was built by a Chinese trader who was said to have been healed after making a pilgrimage to the Pozo de la Virgen in front of it.[8] Other local sources relate the construction of the shrine with the miraculous saving of the Chinese by the Mother of Santa Ana from a Sinophobic massacre in the past.[9] The temple is divided into two chapel rooms. The left chapel is dedicated to the Our Lady of the Abandoned while the right chapel is dedicated primarily to Pao Ong Hu. Aside from the Chinese saint, also venerated within the Pao Ong Hu chapel are other Taoist deities and the images of Santo Niño (Child Jesus) and Our Lady of Antipolo (Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buenviaje).

Iglesia ni Cristo Museum at Punta

The Iglesia ni Cristo Museum in Punta

The religious movement Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) was established in 1914 by Felix Manalo in the community of Punta in Santa Ana. However, the INC did not have its own place worship until 1937, when its first temple was built in the area. Unlike the modern temples of the INC, this structure does not bear a neo-Gothic design but is rather reminiscent of the architecture during the American era.[10]

Owing to the growing number of churchgoers, it was decided in the 1980s that worship services would be made to a bigger temple a few meters away. The old Punta temple was deemed by the INC as a historic property. It was renovated and was eventually converted into a museum.[10]

American Eagle Club

The American Eagle Club building

This old building, which stands at the corner of Mabuhay and Tejeron Streets, used to be an entertainment club or restaurant bar that catered to most foreigners after World War II. The exterior wall at the ground is made of adobe and concrete, while the second floor is made of horizontal clapboards. The window has glass on a wooden frame with decorated metal grills. The building was never renovated since then. The ground floor is being used as a garage.

Notable residents

See also



  1. ^ a b Final Results - 2007 Census of Population
  2. ^ a b Huerta, Felix de. 1865. Estado Geográfico, Topográfico, Estadístico, Histórico-Religioso de la Santa y Apostólica Provincia de San Gregorio Magno. Binondo: Imprenta de M. Sanchez y Ca.
  3. ^ Locsin, Leandro V. and Cecilia Y. Locsin. 1967. Oriental Ceramics Discovered in the Philippines. Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company. ISBN 0804804478
  4. ^ a b Fox, Robert B. and Avelino M. Legaspi. 1977. Excavations at Santa Ana. Manila: National Museum of the Philippines
  5. ^ Visita Iglesia: 8 Old Manila Churches
  6. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 60. 
  7. ^ Laya, Jaime C. (July 5–18, 2011). "The Virgin’s Well, the Temple to Pao Ong Hu and to the Mother of Sta. Ana" (PDF). Tulay: Chinese-Filipino Digest. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Austria, Jose Alain (2013). "Virgen de los Desamparados/del Pozo: Sacred Space, Syncretism and the Geopolitics of Healing Water". MANILA: Selected Papers of the MSA 21st Annual Conference. 
  9. ^ See, Teresita Ang (July 5–18, 2011). "Culture, Tradition or Religion" (PDF). Tulay: Chinese-Filipino Digest. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum (Punta)". VistaPinas. July 27, 2014. 


  • "By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II, 3 February-3 March 1945" by Alphonso J. Aluit (1994) Bookmark, Inc. © 1994 National Commission for Culture and the Arts ISBN 971-569-162-5

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