Museo El Deposito, the Philippines

It may seem like a vast expanse of green from above, but underneath the Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine in San Juan City is the cavernous El Deposito.

Made of volcanic tuff, the underground reservoir held water pumped from Santolan before it flowed to various fountains and hydrants in Manila. It was part of the larger Carriedo waterworks designed by Spanish engineer Genaro Palacios and built from 1878 to 1882. The infrastructure project was named after Francisco Carriedo y Peredo, a Spanish official who bequeathed a grant to the City of Manila in 1733.

El Deposito was also used as an armory during American and Japanese rule, a hospital for tuberculosis patients, and a firing range. It was chosen as the site of a national shrine for Filipinos who fought during the Battle of San Juan del Monte on 30 August 1896. The shrine, which features a sculpture by Eduardo Castrillo, was inaugurated on 4 February 1974.

The Museo El Deposito, which is under the management of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, narrates the rich history of the underground reservoir and the Carriedo waterworks as a whole. It aims to inspire everyone to value water as a natural resource and appreciate the people who make access to it easier for everyday Filipinos.

The museum has three galleries featuring various artifacts recovered from the site, scale models, and interactive modules:

  • Gallery 1: Life before the Waterworks
  • Gallery 2: The Carriedo Waterworks
  • Gallery 3: The National Shrine

Permanent collections:

  • Original 1882 Carriedo Commemorative Coin and 1911 Carriedo Postage Stamp
  • Original 1888 Carriedo Water system Fire hydrant
  • Replica of 1833 and 1850 barrel filters
  • Replica of stone filter
  • Original old Spanish coins
  • Replica of Carriedo Water Fountain
  • Original excavated artifacts from the underground water reservoir which include ammunition and war paraphernalia
  • Miniature model of Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine
  • Touch screen terminals
  • Virtual reality viewers narrating the 1st battle between the Spaniards and the Filipinos
  • Photos and plans of the Carriedo Water System

 

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