El Deposito in San Juan City is the oldest water reservoir in the Philippines that was built in 1882 during the Spanish era. It had a capacity of 15 million gallons of water that supplied the residents of Metro Manila and its surrounding areas back then.
El Deposito used the Marikina River as a water source. The water from the said river was pumped through water pipes into the El Deposito underground reservoir. With San Juan’s elevated land area, water then was easily distributed to the consumers all over Metro Manila thanks to gravity.
The site was historic because this was where the battle of San Juan Del Monte (also known as “Battle of Pinaglabanan”) took place in 1896.
To learn more about the history of El Deposito and Battle of San Juan, I suggest you visit the museum as it is open to the public for free!
Reservoir before, Museum today
El Deposito is now a museum managed by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). The museum has three galleries featuring various artifacts recovered from the site, scale models, and interactive modules. Gallery 1 is about Life before the Waterworks; Gallery 2 focuses on The Carriedo Waterworks while Gallery 3 is the National Shrine.
The above photo is the sample hydrant during that time.
You can request for a tour guide inside the museum to tell you the history of El Deposito water reservoir, the “Battle of Pinaglabanan” and the artifacts found in the site. He/she will also give you quick tour of the old water reservoir itself.
History is one of my favorite subjects when I was in school. It always amazes me to hear stories of the past, stories that will enrich your knowledge about our history and culture. I do think that we should pass this on to our children because they will be the ones who will continue our Filipino legacy. With the advent of many modern distractions such as gadgets, social media, etc., we should never let our history be forgotten.
I honestly did not know that an old reservoir exists within Metro Manila so when I heard about this from my girlfriend, we did some research and watched YouTube videos. Last Sunday, November 27, 2022, we have decided to visit the museum in the morning. This validated what I knew all along: it does not always take a long journey to far away places to learn about history. All it takes is a passion for learning and history.
The museum is not that big as you can tour the museum plus the old water reservoir in less than 2 hours. I highly suggest you visit El Deposito on your free time or during the weekend especially if you have kids who are still learning about Philippines history. This is a good opportunity to learn the history of El Deposito and Battle of San Juan Del Monte while bonding with your family.
El Deposito Museum is located in Pinaglabanan St., Corazon de Jesus, San Juan City. It is open to public and they accept walk-in visitors. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
There is no entrance fee in the museum but donations are highly encouraged.
Watch my vlog in YouTube
Transportation: You can take jeepney or taxi or grab to reach El Deposito Underground Water Reservoir. The price may vary but for sure it is budget friendly. You can also use Waze or Google Map if you will drive your own vehicle.
Food: N/A. You can finish the tour for less than 2 hours so I don’t think you need to eat during your visit in the museum.