Return Carriedo Fountain to Sampaloc
Many of today’s younger generation would probably not remember that Carriedo fountain, now located near Santa Cruz church, was originally erected at Sampaloc Rotunda at the intersection of three streets connecting the suburbs of San Miguel, Sampaloc, Pandacan. As Manila’s growing transportation and traffice problem worsened, Carriedo fountain was transferred to the main office of NAWASA at Quezon City and then moved again to Santa Cruz. One wonders why the Carriedo fountain was relocated to Santa Cruz instead of being returned to Sampaloc? Santa Cruz, while being a very historical place in her own right, has no historical connection at all to the Carriedo fountain. Is it time to consider returning the Carriedo fountain to her rightful place in Nagtahan? A possible option would be the parking lot for jeepneys located at the Nagtahan intersection. Surely, the city of Manila would be willing to return the Carriedo fountain and turn this jeepney parking lot into a beautiful water park. After all, the reason the Carriedo fountain was moved out of Sampaloc Rotunda was due to traffice congestion. Now, isn’t it timely to sacrifice this vacant lot used as a jeepney parking lot for the sake of the return of the Carriedo fountain to her rightful place. The people of the city of Manila needs to remember the great legacy of Francisco de Carriedo y Peredo whose gift to the Manila provided the seed money for the development of the Carriedo water system.
Inauguration of the Carriedo Fountain in 1882.
A few months after Fr. Ramon Caviedas, o.f.m, became Sampaloc’s parish priest, the town of Sampaloc played an important role in the installation and blessing of the Carriedo fountain located at the corner of Nagtahan or Sampaloc Rotunda. Nagtahan was derived from a Filipino term meaning the stop or cease (“tahan”) as the road was blocked or ended until the completion of the Nagtahan bridge.
About eight o’clock on the morning of July 23, 1882, Sampaloc became the focal point for the culmination of a week-long celebration that the city of Manila has not experienced for quite some time. The people of Manila had a glimpse of the program of festivities when the governor-general issued a proclamation. On July 18, through the official gazette, outlining a program including musical and atheletic events, fireworks, theatrical performances, and grand ballroom dancing. Alms were also to be distributed in commemoration of the event for hospitals, prisons, and the poor. Money was to be given to every parish priest within the municipal radius for a mass for the soul of benefactor who made Manila’s thirst for cleaner water a reality.
This event was the opening of the Carriedo fountain located at the Sampaloc rotunda of which the fountain served as the distribution point for Manila’s first potable water system. The morning of July 23 started early with massed bands, a civic procession which consisted of thirteen official carriages, and a mass which was celebrated opposite the fountain in a temporary structure erected by the house of Lorenzo Rocha. We can surmise that Fr. Ramon Caviedas, being the parish priest of Sampaloc, was at part of this whole celebration. Residents of Sampaloc who were married or were baptized during this grand celebration received special recognition. The lucky couples were Cristino Batarra and Petrona Carin Hipolito, Manuel Jose and Hilaria B. de la Cruz, Tiburcio Mantilla Joaquin and Miguela de Leon, Luareano Reseliz and Apolinaria Sarmeinto. The children who were baptized were Cristino Laude Rivera, Cristino J. Enrique, and Cristina Gregorio.