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Friday, April 11, 2014

Puente de Malagonlong | My Search for Spanish Colonial Bridges

TAYABAS CITY, Quezon Province -- It was a year ago when I watched a documentary featuring colonial bridges specifically those that was built during Spanish era. I was in immense nostalgia and fascinated as I watch the episode. 'Was enlightened on how these edifice that we usually overlook, have gone significant role through the years. Even up to now they are still serving their purpose, connecting places and  connecting our modern times to the past. Some of these may have gone and have crushed into rubles while others are remaining sturdy. And after that show, I came to a decision. I will personally visit these bridges to see its grandeur at first hand. I will document them so that our countrymen will be aware of its important roles served to our ancestors. My first drop was in Tayabas Quezon where the nostalgic bridge of Malagonlong was built. Years have passed, it remain standing thru the test of natural calamities as earthquake, storms and floods.

The people of Tayabas City takes pride of this ancient engineering marvel popularly known as Puente de Malagonlong. It served as the identity of city as it is an important heritage object, the longest of its kind, 445 feet long and grandest bridge ever built during Spanish era. The bridge is crossing through Dumaca-a River and connecting Tayabas to towns of eastern side specifically Barangay Matuena and Lakawan as well as Towns of Mauban and Pagbilao.

The National Historical Commission included the bridge on list of heritage site because it was the product made by the early people of Tayabasin that showcase their hardship and craftsmanship. Built between 1840 up to 1850, it is one of the eye witness of what the City of Tayabas have gone through.

The 173 years old Puente de Malagonlong is just among the 11 stone bridges built in the town under the direction of Fray Antonio Mattheus, a Franciscan priest. That simply means that truly the City has its glorious past. It became the province capital and center of business and trade. The numbers of bridges constructed only proves that Tayabas City has advance economy during that time.


The puente supposedly be included in UNESCO World Heritage Site but unfortunately have failed its application due to the disturbance made by its neighboring site. There was a new  bridge constructed beside the old puente that made it not valid to the said listing. 

It became further historically significant for its inscribed markings on each adobe stone blocks which is the main materials of the edifice. According to history data, these markings are "Freemasonry or Masonry" symbols done by the workers involved in building the Puente.

Freemasonry refers to a civic movement promoting fraternity and good works. It defines a regular system of morality, veiled in allegory illustrated with symbols. Such masonry symbols has been seen historically in churches and government as secret societies.

Notable national heroes have been involved in this underground group like Jose Rizal, M.H. del Pilar, Apolinario Mabini, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Antonio Luna and among others. 

How To Get There

Puente de Malagonlong can be reached within 4-5 hours if one has to commute from the metro. Board on buses bound to Lucena Grand Central Terminal. From there, ride on jeepneys with route going to Lucban-Tayabas or ordinary buses enroute to Town of Mauban and drop off right there on the site.

From Tayabas town proper, it is about four kilometers away taking roads that lead to town of Mauban and Sampaloc, Quezon. It is about 15-20 minutes tricycle ride.


  1. Ang ganda! Sana pla sumama ako sayo... lol

  2. eto pala yun noong nagyaya ka :) super busy lang kasi may pasok kahit weekend.

    1. Oo. Planning to go back. 11 colonial bridges daw yan kaya meron talagang babalikan. So Game??

  3. Tayabas has been on my list for quite some time but it never materialized. Will visit this soon.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. When I was in Tayabas, obvious na obvious yung glorious past nito!! Sa Church pa lang sobrang laki na and 11 colonial bridges!! So, I have reason to go back for the remaining 10. Hahaha!! Taralets!!

    3. Then save a weekend for me. Maybe in May? I'll let you know.

  4. Sir, please take this constructively. Before you post an entry, please ask someone to edit your work for you. Normally it's ok to have a few errors. But this particular entry has a LOT. Seriously.

    As an alternative, pwede naman mag-Tagalog. Mas ok pa nga yun eh.

    It's fine if you don't publish this comment. Hindi naman tayo troll.

    1. Hi Sir/Maam!!

      Yeah thanks!! Will try to review it before I post.



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