Museo El Deposito Inspires Filipinos to Value Water More

Photos by Jovan Soriano.

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.

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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 financial grant to the City of Manila in 1733.

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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 August 30, 1896. The shrine, which features a sculpture by Eduardo Castrillo, was inaugurated on February 4, 1974.

The Museo El Deposito 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.

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The museum has three galleries – Life Before the Waterworks, The Carriedo Waterworks, and The National Shrine – which feature various artifacts recovered from the site, scale models, and interactive modules.

Museo El Deposito

Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine, Pinaglabanan St., Corazon de Jesus, San Juan